LUCKNOW: The Income Tax department conducted raids on the premises of persons mainly associated with the Samajwadi Party in different cities across Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
The premises of Rahul Bhasin and Neetu Yadav alias Gajendra Singh Yadav in Lucknow, Manoj Yadav in Agra and Mainpuri, and Rajeev Rai in Mau were in focus. I-T searches were also conducted in Mainpuri, the parliamentary constituency of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. All those who were raided are said to be financers of the SP.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav questioned the timing of the raids and alleged that the fear of electoral defeat was behind it. A team of 12 I-T sleuths from Varanasi reached the residence of Rajiv Rai, secretary and spokesman of SP, in Sahadatpur, Mau, in the morning. Sources said a group owned by Rajiv Rai that runs educational institutions in Karnataka had been under I-T scanner for quite some time.
Raids were also conducted on the premises of Neetu Yadav, who was Akhilesh Yadav’s OSD when the SP was in power. Neetu is said to be a small-time electrician who allegedly amassed properties during SP regime and now owns two huge bungalows in Lucknow. Searches were also conducted on premises of RCL group owner Manoj Yadav in Mainpuri and Agra.
Akhilesh, who was taking out his Vijay Rath Yatra in Rae Bareli, attacked the BJP accusing it of misusing agencies on the lines of Congress. “I-T has already arrived. Soon the ED and the CBI will also come to UP. But this is not going to stop our march.’’ Akhilesh said the BJP had done the same in Bengal, the people taught them a lesson. “Here also people know why such raids are being done now.”