Ajay Maken accuses BJP of 'tax terrorism'

Congress leader Ajay Maken on Friday accused the BJP of employing “tax terrorism” to financially weaken the opposition party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, scheduled to begin on April 19.

Speaking at a press conference held at the AICC headquarters alongside Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, party treasurer Ajay Maken alleged serious violations of income-tax laws by the BJP. Maken emphasized the need for the Income Tax department to demand over Rs 4,600 crore from the saffron party for these purported infractions.

Ramesh further claimed that the BJP had amassed Rs 8,200 crore through the “electoral bonds scam,” utilizing various channels including “pre-paid, post-paid, post-raid bribes, and shell companies.” He criticized the BJP for its alleged involvement in “tax terrorism.”

Despite efforts to financially weaken the Congress, Ramesh asserted that the party will not be intimidated. He affirmed that the Congress will continue its campaign for the upcoming parliamentary elections, standing by its commitments to the people of India.

Maken alleged that the Congress and other like-minded opposition parties are being selectively targeted by the Income Tax department, which he described as the BJP’s “frontal organization.” He accused the department of launching a deliberate campaign against the Congress by reopening old returns on unsubstantiated grounds.

Maken stated that the Congress would soon approach the Supreme Court regarding the demands made by the Income Tax department.

I-T dept issues notice

The Income Tax department has served a notice of Rs 1,823.08 crore to the Congress party, heightening its financial worries ahead of the critical 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as reported by PTI quoting Ajay Maken on Friday.

This development follows the Delhi High Court‘s rejection of the party’s plea challenging reassessment proceedings for four assessment years.

The Delhi High Court dismissed petitions filed by the Congress challenging the initiation of tax reassessment proceedings spanning four years by tax authorities. Justices Yashwant Varma and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, comprising the bench, maintained their earlier decision to refrain from intervening in the reopening of reassessment for an additional year.

The case concerned assessment years from 2017 to 2021.

In a prior petition dismissed the week before, the Congress party had contested the initiation of reassessment proceedings concerning assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17.

The High Court dismissed the plea, citing the tax authority’s prima facie collection of “substantial and concrete” evidence warranting further scrutiny. The tax department alleged that approximately Rs 520 crore had evaded assessment during these three years.

(With inputs from agencies)

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