The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of targeting Opposition leaders by using agencies like the Income Tax (I-T) department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and said the people of India will give a befitting reply to the BJP in the elections.
A day after income tax sleuths, along with election flying squad, carried out raids at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi at Tuticorin, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, said “the news” is that nothing was found during the searches at her residence.
The former Finance Minister alleged that the Income Tax department was taking “autocratic and partial” action in Tamil Nadu in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
“How is it that tip off on Opposition leaders alone is received [by officials],” he wondered in his tweet in Tamil.
He also said, “The marker of the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu is the Income Tax department’s autocratic and partial steps.”
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that motivated I-T raids is the only tool left with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said the people can see through this.
“Hounding Opposition leaders through motivated I-T raids is the only tool left with Modiji!. BJP has four allies — PM Modi, Sh Shah, ED and I-T to fight these elections. People of India are seeing through this, they will give a befitting reply to BJP on May 23,” Mr. Surjewala said on Twitter.
At the AICC briefing, when asked about the raids, Congress leader Kapil Sibal claimed that BJP is “flooded” with money and yet authorities are targeting the Opposition which is facing a cash “drought”.
“We all know that if any party is flooded with money, it is the BJP. The Ppposition is going through a drought period.
“And who is being targeted, those who are suffering from drought and those who are flooded are not being targeted. That’s the beauty of Indian democracy and this government,” he said.
“Cash: BJP flooded, Opposition drought. Yet Opposition raided [Kanimozhi]. I guess Income Tax Authorities convinced BJP fighting this election without cash,” Mr. Sibal also tweeted.
Election officials on April 16 held searches at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi in Tuticorin in south Tamil Nadu from where she is contesting.
Authorities conducted a search at a store in Theni Lok Sabha constituency on April 16 night following inputs about suspected cash, during which police had to open fire in the air to disperse supporters of the T.T.V. Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), who objected to the action.
During the raids, cash to the tune of ₹1.48 crore allegedly stashed to bribe voters was seized.
The store was believed to be run by a supporter of the AMMK. Tamil Nadu goes to polls on April 18.