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Won't be threatened by raids aimed at stopping Oppn leaders from contesting LS polls: Ahmed Patel

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 9, 2019  | 22:13 IST

New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said Tuesday he will not be cowed down by raids carried out by Income Tax authorities against party leaders and workers and alleged the searches were aimed at stopping opposition leaders from contesting the Lok Sabha election. Patel said the use of Income Tax department to "target" BJP's political opponents ahead of Lok Sabha polls shows the "desperation" in the ruling party. He said people will give a befitting reply to BJP in the elections beginning on April 11. On Sunday, Income Tax Department officials raided properties in several locations, including the Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh, against close aides of MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others on charges of tax evasion and hawala transactions. They have also raided the premises of S M Moin, an employee of Patel, in Delhi's Geeta Colony over the past a few days. Patel had visited Moin's residence when I-T Department sleuths were present there. "The BJP is getting raids on their political opponents and are creating an atmosphere so that they (the opposition candidates) are unable to contest. You (the BJP) cannot win elections on money power and it is the people who will help you win or lose. This election will make it clear to the BJP whether money power can win elections, he told reporters here. He said he and others have complained to the Election Commission against the raids aimed at "targeting the political opponents of BJP". "We do not fear anyone. Congress party has always maintained transparency," he stressed, alleging that the raids were a "well-thought out conspiracy" to taint the Congress. "I do not fear anyone and I have not committed any theft. Attack is the best defence and those who have committed theft themselves are attacking others," he claimed. Responding to the raid on Moin's premises, Patel said he went to his place to stand by him and his family "in this hour of need" and not to stall the raid. The top Congress leader said he or anyone accompanying him did not try to stop the Income Tax authorities or the raid. "The manner in which the agencies are being misused and the phones of political opponents tapped, it seems the BJP is desperate. The people of this country will teach them a lesson," he said. Patel said it was his responsibility to ensure safety of all Congress workers and their families and will stand by them in their time of need. PTI SKC SKC ABH ABH

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