NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today said the Income Tax Department’s raids on various firms linked to the family members of his nephew Ajit Pawar could be the Centre’s reaction to the strong condemnation by himself and the Maharashtra government of the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, which claimed the lives of eight persons.
Talking to reporters at Baramati, his home turf, he also said the inquiry of persons who were not related to the financial transactions under the lens was “excessive use of power”, and urged people to decide till when they would accept it.
The I-T raids in the state are a reaction from the central government, he said.
“I have strongly condemned the UP (Lakhimpur Kheri) incident, where farmers were killed. I even compared it to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Also, the state government has condemned it in its cabinet meeting… It cannot be ruled out that the I-T department’s action against various firms in the state is a reaction to our strong condemnation of the UP incident,” Mr Pawar said.
The I-T department today raided some businesses linked to family members of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and some real estate developers on charges of alleged tax evasion. The premises linked to business groups such as DB Realty, Shivalik, Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana (Jarandeshwar SSK) and businesses linked to Ajit Pawar”s sisters are being covered under the ongoing operation, official sources have said.
When asked about the I-T raids on the residences of Ajit Pawar’s sisters, the former Union minister called it “excessive use of power”.
“The I-T department has the right to exercise its power to inquire people who are related and responsible for the firms and their financial transactions. But the inquiry of persons who are not related to the financial transactions is excessive use of power and people should decide till when they are going to accept such blatant use of power,” he said.
Talking about the seizure of drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast last week, Mr Pawar said he saw some people who did not belong to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) talking away the accused in the case. He called it a political party’s interference in the central agency’s work.
His party had earlier questioned the presence of two persons along with the NCB team during the raid, and alleged that one of them was a BJP member.
“It was claimed that those party workers were there as witnesses. It is okay to have witnesses during the raid or in the court, but their role in taking the accused to the NCB office highlights that party people are involved in the agency work,” Mr Pawar alleged.
When asked if the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners contesting the recently-held local elections together benefited them, Mr Pawar said it was found to be fruitful to some extent, but it would be like jumping to a conclusion in haste.
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