IT raids on MP CM; focus on links with politicians

Bhopal: Income Tax officials on Tuesday continued to search for a third day the premises of close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, claiming they have the details about transactions involving Rs 281 crore linked to businessmen, politicians and bureaucrats.

The officials are searching the residences and offices of Ashwini Sharma, Manager of an NGO located in Bhopal’s Platinum Plaza building, his close aide Prateek Joshi, and Chief Minister’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Praveen Kakkar who was interrogated till late on Monday.

Income tax officials said they had on Monday seized over Rs 14 crore, claiming they are now in possession of the details about organised transactions to the tune of Rs 281 crore involving businessmen, politicians and bureaucrats.

The officials had earlier seized cash and documents from Ashwini Sharma. A huge amount of cash, gold and silver jewellery were recovered from Kakkar’s Indore house and Sharma’s Bhopal residence.

Officials also seized 252 liquor bottles, arms and tiger skin. The officials did not name the political party to which the accused have been linked.

The officials claimed they have come to know that Rs 20 crore was sent from a party headquarters to a senior leader of that party whose residence is located at Delhi’s Tughlaq Road. The amount was sent through ‘hawala channels,’ they added.

According to sources, illegal transactions to the tune of Rs 230 crore were done by a company owned by a close relative of the party leader. It was also revealed that the company evaded tax amounting to Rs 242 crore.

Nearly 300 IT officials are deployed to conduct the raids which began early on Sunday.