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New Delhi: Officials of the Income Tax department conducted raids at the houses of two Samajwadi Party leaders and the aide of party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The searches come just ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election, in which the Samajwadi Party is expected to give a fight to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
A team from the I-T department from Varanasi reached Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajeev Rai’s home this morning in eastern UP’s Mau district, NDTV has reported. Rai owns a group that runs many educational institutions in Karnataka, says the report.
Akhilesh’s personal secretary Jainendra Yadav and another party leader Manoj Yadav are others who have been raided.
Akhilesh responded to the raids by putting the blame squarely on the ruling party.
"अभी तो इनकम टैक्स आया है"
राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री अखिलेश यादव जी प्रेसवार्ता, रायबरेली pic.twitter.com/aZNsX5FS3m
— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) December 18, 2021
“I have said this time and again that as elections approach.. all this starts happening. Right now, now the tax department has come… the Enforcement Directorate will come, CBI will come, but the cycle [the Samajwadi Party’s poll symbol] will not stop… we will continue at the same pace … the BJP will be wiped out of UP,” he was quoted by NDTV as having said.
Akhilesh questioned why Rajeev Rai was not raided a month ago, and just when the election is here.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is preparing to give a tough fight to the BJP in the crucial state polls, has hit out at the ruling party after top leaders of the Samajwadi Party and his personal aide were raided this morning.
Akhilesh compared BJP’s tendency to use central agencies to “scare” political opponents with the Congress’s earlier conduct.
“The tax department seems to have joined the poll battle,” Akhilesh said.