A day after the Income Tax Department conducted pre-dawn searches at premises of relatives and aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the Central Board of Direct Taxes claimed it had detected “widespread and well-organized racket of collection of unaccounted cash of about Rs 281 crore”, including transfer of Rs 20 crore to the “headquarter of a major political party in Delhi”.
In a statement mailed Monday night, the CBDT said the searches were carried out by 300 I-T officials at about 52 locations in four states. It claimed these searches “yielded unaccounted cash of Rs 14.6 cr so far, besides 252 bottles of liquor, few arms and hide-skins of a tiger”.
On Monday morning, hours before the CBDT issued the statement, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya tweeted at 10.53 am, “Madhya Pradesh mein tabaadla express Patri sey utarney key Karan durghatnagrasth. Jaan ka koi nuksaan Nahi lekin 281 crore key maal key nuksaan ka anumaan (The Transfer Express in Madhya Pradesh has derailed. No loss of life, but a loss of 281 crores estimated).”
Narender Saluja, a Media Coordinator of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, said: “How could the BJP leader come to know of the figure in the morning? What kind of collusion is this?”. He alleged the searches were carried out at the instance of the BJP and were “aimed at maligning the image of the Congress during elections”.