Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan has alleged that companies controlled indirectly by DMK and AIADMK leaders are making massive profits through supplying liquor to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC). Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Bhushan said the windfall gains were the reason the successive governments of the two parties had refused to close liquor shops, despite overwhelming opposition from the public.
He said the TASMAC did not follow a transparent procedure for issuing orders and indents to makers of the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). This was pointed out by the Madras High Court in a recent order, he claimed.
He said MIDAS Golden Distilleries Private Limited, a major supplier to the TASMAC, was “indirectly owned partially” by persons suspected to be close to V.K. Sasikala, an associate of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. While the company’s taxable turnover had been Rs. 360 crore until 2010-2011, it increased to Rs.1,077 crore by 2012-2013, after the AIADMK came to power, he alleged. A gamut of smaller companies had indirect interests in Midas. “Many of these companies were formed with a Rs.1-lakh capital.”
During the DMK regime of 2006-2011, profits of a company, Elite Distilleries Private Limited (EDPL), increased from 0 to Rs.712 crore by 2011-2012, he said. The licence for supply was issued to the company in 2008. EDPL was, in turn, controlled by companies close to some DMK leaders. Mr. Bhushan said the owner of V.V Mineral, a major shareholder in MIDAS until 2009, was involved in massive “illegal” beach sand mining. The State government suspended the “illegal” mining and ordered a probe. The report of the probe was yet to be made public. The reasons for exposing the alleged scam, he said, was to point out that like the BJP and the Congress, the two regional parties, too, were controlled by crony capitalists. “We want an independent investigation into these irregularities.”
In Madurai, Mr. Bhushan urged the electorate to vote for the AAP candidates, rejecting those of the Dravidian and national parties that had governed and looted the State. “For the first time, people have a different choice in the form of the AAP, which will transfer power back to the people. Instead of children of politicians and crony capitalists, we have representatives from society as candidates, who are ready to work for the people.” Campaigning for AAP Madurai candidate M. Kamacis, Mr. Bhushan assured the electorate of corruption-free governance. “Whether it is the BJP or the Congress, most parties are mere puppets in the hands of big business houses including the Reliance.”