Income Tax (I-T) officials conducted raids at multiple locations in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere said to belong to close aides of MP chief minister Kamal Nath from Sunday.
Altogether 52 locations were raided, including in Goa, Ahmedabad, and at Delhi’s Green Park. The raids triggered a political slugfest between the Congress and the BJP. Congress leaders alleged that the I-T raids were part of a political vendetta.
BJP leaders justified the raids saying that black money worth crores has been seized.
PTI quoted I-T officials as saying that undisclosed cash amounting to Rs 10-14 crore has been seized and that there is a “strong possibility” of this cash being used as election inducements and to bribe voters.
A preliminary report of the raids has been shared with the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Election Commission, PTI reported.
Sources said the raids were done on complaints of alleged tax evasion and suspected movement of hawala money.
In Bhopal, the raids were conducted at the Nadir Colony home of Praveen Kakkar, a long-time confidant and former Officer on Special Duty of Kamal Nath.
Kakkar’s residence in Indore was also raided. Also targeted were locations linked to former Nath adviser Rajendra Miglani and executives linked to his brother-in-law’s firm and his nephew Ratul Puri’s company.
Last week, Puri was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the national capital in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case.
The source said that the IT Department also got tips from Puri’s questioning and thus planned a series of raids in the state.
Reacting to the raids, state minister Dr Govind Singh said that PM Narendra Modi and the BJP were trying to suppress political opponents by misusing central agencies. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya countered saying that black money worth crores had been seized in today’s raids. He said that ‘thieves’ are now complaining against the ‘watchman’.