Jayadev Galla, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP and the richest candidate in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, has said the Income Tax Department raids at his company's premises were nothing short of a political vendetta by the Narendra Modi government. He said he was being targeted for "political reasons" and that PM Modi was trying to influence the elections by selectively targeting TDP leaders in the southern state. He said he was being treated like this because he had been an outspoken critic of PM Modi.
"It is happening at three locations where my election team was staying. I am demanding an explanation of why we are being targeted. This country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going down a fascist path. Because I have spoken against him, initiated a non-confidence motion against him, I am being targeted like this," said Gala, reported ANI. The Income Tax department sleuths on Wednesday raided the residence of Gurrappa Naidu, the Chief Accountant of Galla's company, Amara Raja Batteries. The questioning lasted for around six hours. Gala came to limelight after his speech went viral on social media during the no-motion confidence initiated against the NDA government in July 2018.
With assets worth over Rs 680 crore, Galla is the richest Lok Sabha election candidate in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Galla, 53, is the Managing Director of Amara Raja Group, a multinational company that makes Amaron batteries.
Galla is contesting the elections from the Guntur constituency in Andhra Pradesh, which is also the place where he won his debut polls in 2014. He will be competing against Modugula Venugopal Reddy of the YSR Congress Party and Valluru Jayaprakash Narayana of the BJP in this parliamentary seat.
In the speech in the Lok Sabha last year, the Indian-American politician began by giving a reference to a Telugu movie and said that the southeastern state had only seen 'empty promises' since the Modi government came into power in 2014. He added that both the Congress and BJP had betrayed Andhra Pradesh. "Mr Prime Minister if you don't keep your promises, the BJP will be destroyed in Andhra Pradesh. It is not a threat, it is a shraap (curse)", NDTV quoted the politician as saying.
As per reports, Galla is among the 'most active' lawmakers in Parliament. He had asked as many as 496 questions in the Lok Sabha and moved six bills, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). "He had attended 85 per cent of the Parliamentary sessions and has gained the reputation as one of the more articulate MPs in the Lok Sabha," the report added. Jayadev Galla had moved to the US at an early age and studied Economics and Politics at the University of Illinois. He is married to Padmavathi, the daughter of a Telugu film star.
Edited by Manoj Sharma