Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposes

I-T raids on Gujarat BJP leader’s relatives sparks fresh row 

Speculation is rife in Gujarat that the relatives of a former Chief Minister were raided by Mumbai I-T officials. 

AHMEDABAD: In the complex landscape of contemporary politics, an Income Tax raid on November 8 on a pharmaceutical company in Gujarat, orchestrated by an I-T team from Mumbai, has ignited speculation of internal strife within the ruling party.

The company, closely tied to a former chief minister and key party figures, faced scrutiny as political tensions escalated. While the BJP remains tight-lipped, the incident has become a focal point of discussion within party circles.

The BJP unit in Gujarat is also grappling with internal divisions, exemplified by recent statements from ex-Union Minister Mansukh Vasava accusing party members of aiding opposition candidates. In this light, the raid’s target, linked to a former Chief Minister’s relatives, adds intrigue, with suspicions of a strategic move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. No BJP representative is willing to comment on the topic, but sources indicate that ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, ruling party leaders are not above use of administrative agencies in a bid to prevent leaders of opposing factions from forcefully making a bid for party nominations in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.

Moreover, Gujarat remains a haven for ruling party MPs as the Congress opposition has failed to bag even one of the 26 seats for the Lok Sabha in the last two consecutive elections. BJP state chief Patil is emphatic that his party will make it a hat-trick in the 2024 parliamentary elections from Gujarat.

In the matter of the raid on the pharmaceutical company whose chairman is reportedly associated with Gujarat BJP, the IT has raided his company and his home. According to sources, a relative of the former chief minister is also a director in this company, and IT has raided her place as well.

According to sources, this former chief minister was expected to play a major role in Gujarat in the next Lok Sabha elections, thus some of the opponents put the I-T department on the trail of the pharma company in a wing clipping exercise. The proxy power play has its roots in the country’s capital, it is being talked about here

The other version is that, following a sudden increase in the turnover of the pharma company, the IT department had been keeping a close eye on the company's account for a long time. It is also important to note that not a single income tax officer from Gujarat was involved in this raid, which was carried out with the assistance of Mumbai IT staff. Sources claimed that IT initially conducted raids in Mumbai and subsequently in Ahmedabad.

No official information has been disclosed regarding this IT raid, which has been cloaked in secrecy, and BJP leaders have declined to comment when we contacted them.

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The New Indian Express