Can I-T raids Be Politically Motivated?
While allegations have been made about I-T raids on people linked to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, similar raids have taken place in the past as well.
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing high drama with the Income Tax department raiding people and establishments linked to chief minister Kamal Nath. On April 7, the I-T department searched at least 50 locations in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh against people linked to Nath. According to media reports, raids are still ongoing on people linked to him.
Nath has called the raids an attempt by those in power to browbeat those in the Opposition. Former MP chief minister Digvijaya Singh, also alleged that constitutional organisations are working as the sister concerns of the ruling BJP. “Unnerved by the countdown of its government in Centre, the BJP is misusing the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department for maligning the image of Opposition,” he said.
While the allegations might not have any truth in them, the timing of it all surely raises a ton of questions, with elections due to start. Furthermore, this is also not an isolated incident, which makes these allegations plausible. There have been other raids which have raised similar questions as well. Here are two such cases.
In March, the I-T department conducted several raids on people associated with the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in the state. The timing of the raids has raised eyebrows. Not only are elections just days away, the raids occurred after a failed attempt by the BJP to unseat the government and form their own. Protesting against the raids, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to declare that this was the “actual surgical strike” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "PM Narendra Modi's real surgical strike is out in the open through I-T department raids. The constitutional post offer for I-T officer Balakrishna helped the PM in his revenge game. Highly deplorable to use government machinery, corrupt officials to harass opponents during election time," he said.
Congress leader DK Sivakumar
In August 2017, the I-T department conducted raids on properties owned by Congress leader DK Sivakumar, who was a state minister, at that time. The raids had come after Sivakumar hosted Congress legislators from Gujarat at a resort owned by him. The party had sequestered them there to thwart attempts by the BJP to poach them. Gujarat, at the time, witnessed much political drama with the BJP going all out to prevent the election of Sonia Gandhi confidant, Ahmed Patel, to the Rajya. Sivakumar, at that time alleged that the raids were politically motivated. One unintended consequence of these raids was the confiscation of papers which allegedly proved that BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa engaged in corruption.