MUMBAI: The Income Tax department on Thursday conducted raids at sugar factories linked to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and properties of his family members.
The raids started on Thursday morning at six sugar factories across Maharashtra. Reacting to the raids, Ajit Pawar said they were politically motivated. Pawar said he could understand I-T raids at his sugar factories, but his sisters' properties were also being raided. "This is low grade politics. The BJP should not drag family members and relatives in their politics. My sisters got married 30 to 35 years ago. They have been living peacefully. Now central agencies are targeting them because they are my sisters," Pawar said.
He also clarified that he has been paying taxes on time. "I am a disciplined person when it comes to finance. I never delayed paying taxes. I am the finance minister of Maharashtra, so I know the IT laws. I have not done anything wrong. The truth will come out soon," he said.
NCP state president Jayant Patil also slammed the raids. "The BJP is losing hope in Maharashtra, therefore they are targeting NCP ministers. The BJP wants to divert the attention of the public from the Lakhimpur farmers' massacre and hence they are carrying out raids at properties owned by Ajit Pawar," Patil alleged.
Other ministers of the Maha Vikas Aghadi and their close associates are also under the I-T scanner.