Chennai, Sep 16 (PTI) The Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption on Thursday held searches at over 20 premises and locations related to former AIADMK Minister K C Veeramani, including at his native Jolarpettai in Thirupatthur district in connection with a disproportionate assets case, police said.

Veeramani, who held the Commercial Taxes portfolio in the 2016-21 AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, is the third former party minister to come under the DVAC net, the others being MR Vijayabaskar (Transport) and SP Velumani (Municipal Administration).

The opposition party dubbed the action against Veeramani as an attempt by the ruling DMK to "politically" target its rival but asserted it won't be cowed down by such 'raids.' Earlier, Vigilance sleuths held searches at over 20 locations in Thirupathur and Chennai among others, police said. The charge against Veeramani is that he amassed disproportionate assets during the check period, i.e. 2016-21 to the extent of around Rs 28 crore.

Reacting to the searches, AIADMK senior leader D Jayakumar charged the ruling DMK with trying to politically target such former ministers and "malign the party before the eyes of the public." "These are DMK's efforts to divert attention from its inability to implement its various (poll) promises. At a time when rural civic polls have been announced, such action is being initiated to prevent (Veeramani) from taking up poll-related works," he told reporters here.

Among the nine districts where the rural local body elections would be held next month are Vellore, Thirupathur and Ranipet, with the last two being carved out from the former.

"The AIADMK won't be cowed down by such raids," Jayakumar asserted, adding even party stalwarts and late Chief Ministers MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa had to weather a lot of challenges.

"We will prove our innocence in the court," Jayakumar, himself a former Minister, said.

"Any efforts to intimidate and malign the AIADMK and its former ministers using police won't fructify," he added.