No, E.V.Velu did not pull a cycle rickshaw for late CM Karunanidhi

This image was taken in 1991 when E.V.Velu was not even in DMK.


You only know about people like Kamalnath who did the ‘dirty work’ for Congress during the 1984 Sikh riots & were made as leaders and CM of states. Here’s another one to ‘cherish’. This rickshaw puller is none other than Tamilnadu’s current PWD minister E Va Velu. A recent IT raid of his properties revealed tax evasion of around 1200 crores. It is believed that his actual worth could be around 20000 crores.

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The houses and other properties owned by E.V.Velu, Minister for Public Works Department in Tamil Nadu, were raided by the Income Tax officials recently. As per some news reports, several crores have been seized by the Income Tax officials but E.V.Velu has denied such reports. Meanwhile, a black and white image is being circulated on social media in which a person can be seen pushing a cycle rickshaw in which late Chief Minister Karunanidhi can be seen holding a microphone. Using this image, it is being claimed that E.V.Velu was a cycle rickshaw puller in his early years but now has several educational institutions among other properties. Some claim that even Ambanis and Adanis do not have this kind of growth.Several users in social media are making similar claims that can be seen here and here.

What’s the truth?

Using Google reverse image search, we found the image featured in The Hindu on August 7, 2018, the day former Chief Minister Karunanidhi died.

The Hindu posted several photos of Karunanidhi along with the picture now shared in social media. The image is said to have been taken on May 11, 1991 in Chennai Harbour constituency during the election campaign for the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections held that year.


Having born in Thiruvannamalai in 1951, E.V.Velu was working as a bus conductor in his early years. He joined the AIADMK when the party was started in 1972. In 1984, he contested in Thandarambattu assembly constituency and was elected as an MLA. After the death of AIADMK leader & then Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran in 1987, AIADMK split into two factions, under MGR’s wife Janaki and MGR’s former co-star Jayalalithaa.

E.V.Velu  joined Janaki faction and contested the 1989 Assembly elections from Thandarambattu constituency and lost.

Meanwhile, the Janaki faction too fizzled out and became irrelevant. He then joined the party started by legendary Film Director K.Bhagyaraj but that party was dissolved. In the 1990s, he again tried to join AIADMK which had then come under the complete control of J.Jayalalithaa who had also become Chief Minister in 1991. However, his attempts failed as his earlier siding with Janaki was considered an issue. He joined the DMK only in the year 2000 and became an MLA in 2001 Assembly Election.

Thus, E.V.Velu who was an MLA in 1984 representing AIADMK and contested 1989 elections from an AIADMK faction. He was not a cycle rickshaw puller in 1991 as the image is from that period. Although the identity of the person in the image is not clearly known, it is clear that the person seen in the viral image is not E.V.Velu.


The claims that E.V.Velu was pulling a cycle rickshaw in his early days is not true. He was a bus conductor and became an MLA in 1984 itself. The viral picture was taken on May 11, 1991 and the person in the image is not E.V.Velu.

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