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Income Tax Raids: CM Bhupesh Baghel rushes to Delhi, cancels cabinet meet

Baghel had called the raids, carried out by the Central I-T team, an act of political vendetta.

Published: 29th February 2020 05:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th February 2020 06:57 PM   |  A+A-

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: As the Income Tax (I-T) sleuths continued their searches on the third day in Chhattisgarh, the Bhupesh Baghel government cancelled an important cabinet meeting scheduled on Saturday, ahead of the presentation of the state budget on March 3 in the Assembly.

The chief minister Bhupesh Baghel rushed to Delhi on Saturday afternoon cancelling his two other significant engagements of the day — annual Mainpat Mahotsav (in north Chhattisgarh) and visit Girodhpuri Dham (the birthplace of Guru Ghasidas, 18th-century social reformer and Satnami community leader).

Baghel had called the raids, carried out by the Central I-T team, an act of political vendetta. He along with his entire cabinet met Governor Anusuiya Uike on Friday registering their protest. 

They submitted a memorandum to the Governor on the name of the President of India alleging that such raids are the attempt to “defame and destabilise” the government having a strong mandate.

The Congress leaders appealed the President to immediately intervene and prevent the misuse of central agencies.

According to senior Congress leaders, the chief minister along with few senior leaders left for Delhi possibly to explore the legal options against the raids, which is described by the state government as “conspiracy” using the Central agency.

"These armed people are moving around from Sarguja to Jagdalpur (Bastar). Chhattisgarh being the Maoist-affected state and if something happens who will be accountable for it. Neither the state government was informed nor the state chief secretary or director-general of police told about the raids so far”.

The Congress referred the I-T raids as “conspiracy” using the Central agency.

“We never oppose I-T raids but the manner in which the ongoing raids have been carried out is against the spirit of federal structure”, the CM stated.

The Congressmen on Saturday organised a big rally in protest in Raipur to gherao the I-T Bhawan, however, the police force thwarted their move.

“If needed we will march to Delhi to demonstrate against such raids and misuse of Central agency against the state government,” the state Congress president Mohan Markam said.

The opposition BJP, however, denounced the state government’s remark citing the I-T raids as an act of revenge by the Centre.

“The fear of the chief minister is misplaced. If the officials close to the CM are upright, they shouldn't be afraid of anyone. And if the actions are being taken against the corruption then why the CM getting irritated”, said the BJP spokesperson Sachhidanand Upasne.

The I-T officials didn’t divulge any information about the recoveries and the course of action they followed in the state.

The opposition BJP, however, denounced the state government’s remark citing the I-T raids as an act of revenge by the Centre.

“The fear of the chief minister is misplaced. If the officials close to the CM are upright, they shouldn't be afraid of anyone. And if the actions are being taken against the corruption then why the CM getting irritated," said the BJP spokesperson Sachhidanand Upasne.

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