The Income Tax Department on Friday said they found incriminating evidence of tax evasion but no cash during the searches conducted at the homes of people related to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leadership, including party chief MK Stalin’s son-in-law, reported NDTV.

A statement issued by the tax department said that the searches were meant to verify if the groups who were raided were involved in political cash distribution.

“These groups and individuals are involved in businesses ranging from running distilleries and breweries, real estate, local financing, solar power EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] to handling cash of politically exposed persons for the ongoing elections,” the Income Tax Department statement said, according to The News Minute. “Part of these groups and individuals are alleged to have been actively assisting in political cash distribution.”

Stalin’s son-in-law, Sabareesan, who maintains a low profile, is a close advisor of the party chief and is known for holding talks and negotiations. On March 25, the IT department had searched senior DMK leader EV Velu’s residence in Tiruvannamalai, the constituency from where he is contesting. Officials conducted raids at the same time when Stalin was seen campaigning for Velu in Tiruvannamalai. IT officials said they carried out raids based on “credible inputs of cash movement” during the poll campaign.

On Friday, the DMK wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and the chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu, alleging that the IT department was being used as “a sword and as a pawn in the hands of the ruling BJP”. The letter, written by DMK Organisation Secretary RS Bharathi, requested the Election Commission to intervene in the matter and stop the Income Tax Department from misusing its authority during the elections.

‘Free publicity’: Udhayanidhi Stalin

MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin on Saturday told NDTV that the IT raids have given free publicity to the DMK ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on April 6. “IT raids have given DMK free publicity,” said Udhayanidhi Stalin. “Raids have not shaken up the party.”

Stalin has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his campaign rallies. On Friday, he had raised questions on the “exponential rise in wealth” of Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah.

On Wednesday, Stalin had claimed that former Union minister Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley died as they could not handle the pressure that Modi put on them. He had made the comment while targeting Modi’s remark that the DMK scion’s entry into politics had come at the cost of senior leaders of the party. The Bharatiya Janata Party had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission on Stalin’s comments.

“PM Modi and Amit Shah target me,” Stalin told NDTV on Saturday. “That is why I target them.”

In response to a question about Modi’s criticism of dynastic politics in the DMK, Stalin said: “Let the people of Chepauk-Thiruvallikenni [the seat he is contesting] decide...We will win with a thumping majority.”