Mrunal Manmay Dash

As the Income Tax department continued massive raids on liquor manufacturing units, particularly in western Odisha over alleged tax evasion, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Sundargarh MLA Kusum Tete on Thursday alleged Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jogesh Singh’s involvement in liquor manufacturing.

She alleged that former MLA Singh has links with the liquor manufacturing unit which has been raided by the I-T department.

Speaking to OTV, Tete said, “When the liquor manufacturing unit was set up, we were informed that the unit is in the name of former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jogesh Singh’s mother. He might have changed the ownership now. But I know it for sure that Singh had connections with that unit and he regularly received money from there.”

“The manufacturing unit should not run there. The area has a market, even a school and a hospital in the vicinity. I had raised this issue many times in the Odisha Assembly, but the government ignored it,” she said.

However, Singh dismissed all the allegations brought by Tete.

“I do not own any liquor manufacturing unit. I have only familial relationship with the owners of the distillery. Does that make me a partner in his business? It is unfortunate on the part of the MLA to bring such baseless allegations against me. She should refrain from doing that. Otherwise, I will have to take the help of law,” Singh said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the income tax team raided the country-liquor distillery at Sargipali in Sundargarh city including the house and office of the owner for tax evasion.

In one of the biggest cash hauls in Odisha, the I-T department officials have recovered cash worth over Rs 150 crore while carrying out multiple raids on a liquor manufacturing company following allegations of tax evasion.

The massive I-T raids on multiple divisions of Boudh Distilleries Private Limited, a company manufacturing liquor, are underway for the second day on Thursday.