Income-Tax raids sent shockwaves across the corridors of power on Wednesday as sleuths swooped down on the home of the Tamil Nadu chief secretary, P. Rama Mohana Rao. I-T officials raided his house in Anna Nagar in Chennai as well as his office at the Secretariat. Handpicked for the top job by late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, he had superseded 17 IAS officers to become the top babu, but Mr Rao had seemed to come off in a poor light as significant seizures were made at the home of his kin — at least Rs 30 lakh cash and 5 kg gold.
As many as 13 premises belonging to him, his son and relatives in Nellore and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and in Karnataka were searched leading to more seizures of cash and gold across south India. The raids began at the crack of dawn, around 5.45 am, at Rao’s residence in Anna Nagar and continued till late into the evening. They were conducted in connection with suspected amassing of wealth disproportionate to the known sources of income and tax evasion. On Thursday, the government sacked Rao and immediately named Girija Vaidyanathan as the new chief secretary.