External Affairs

DMK Calls for CBI Probe into ‘Gutka Scam’

DMK members with Stalin oustide Tamil Nadu assembly on the day of trust vote. Credit: PTI/File Photo

Chennai: Days after the DMK created a furore in the Tamil Nadu assembly by waving sachets of banned tobacco products, party chief M.K. Stalin today reiterated his demand for a CBI probe into the alleged payment of bribes to a state minister and top officials to facilitate sale of gutka in the state.

Levelling certain charges in respect of the state government’s stand in a related case in the Madras high court, he said only a CBI probe can “unravel” several details.

In a statement, the leader of the opposition said the probe would throw light on bribes allegedly received by people with vested interests and related tax evasion.

Searches by income tax officials last year at the premises of an illegal gutka manufacturer had indicated alleged payout to a minister and some officials, including a senior police official.

Last month the DMK had demanded a CBI probe into the gutka issue, following which chief minister K. Palaniswami had said that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption was looking into the matter.

On July 19, the opposition party had created a stir in the assembly, waving strips of sachets of banned tobacco products, prompting the chair to refer their alleged breach of privilege to the Privileges Committee, leading to a walkout by the DMK members.