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MP I-T searches: One of the targets claims he is 'BJP man'

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 7, 2019  | 21:19 IST

Bhopal, Apr 7 (PTI) One of the persons whose house was searched by the Income Tax Department Sunday morning claimed that he was a "BJP man". The Income Tax Department Sunday launched pre-dawn searches on at least 50 locations in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh (Indore and Bhopal) against people linked to Chief Minister Kamal Nath on charges of alleged tax evasion, officials said. The searches are linked to suspected movement of hawala money during the ongoing polls season and tax evasion, they said. Locations in Indore, Bhopal and Delhi (Green Park) were being raided and those being searched included Nath's former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkad, former adviser Rajendra Miglani and executives linked to his brother-in-law's firm Moser Baer and his nephew Ratul Puri's company, the officials said. Bhopal-based businessman Ashwin Sharma, whose residence was searched as part of the I-T raids, on being asked about his connection to Nath and Kakkad, told reporters, "I am a BJP man". He also said the money found by the officials from his house, in Platinum Plaza Apartments in the New Market area of Bhopal, belonged to him. Sources said Sharma runs an NGO. Kakkad, a former Madhya Pradesh police officer, was appointed OSD to Nath after the Congress-led government came to power in the state last year. He earlier served as OSD to former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria during the UPA regime. Bhuria is contesting the coming Lok Sabha polls from Ratlam-Jhabua seat in MP. Kakkad's family is associated with a number of businesses, including hospitality. Reacting to the raids, a Congress leader here accused the BJP-led central government of targeting opposition leaders for "political vendetta". MP Congress' media cell vice president Bhupendra Gupta, also a former OSD to Nath, charged, "The BJP government has been targeting opposition leaders across the country due to political enmity. Due to such an act of political vendetta, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (N Chandrababu Naidu) and DMK leader M K Stalin had to stage a protest against the Centre." However, the BJP hit back, saying "thieves" were now having a complaint against the "watchman". "Black money worth crores was recovered during the Income Tax Department's raid at the house of private secretary of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. This has made one thing clear that those who are thieves have a complaint against the watchman," BJP's national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said. PTI ADU BNM KJ

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