“Strict action”: RaGa's reaction after Cong gets notices

After the Congress alleged that the party has received fresh notices from the income-tax department, party leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that when they come to power, they will take “strict action” against those trying to “murder the democracy.”

Accusing the Income Tax Department of double-standards, Congress on Friday alleged that while it has been penalised for “a violation of Rs 14 lakh”, the income tax authorities were completely silent on “Rs 42 crore violation” by the BJP and that the violations by the ruling party at the Centre entailed a penalty of Rs 4,600 crore.

“When the government changes, action will definitely be taken against those who ‘murder the democracy’! And such action will be taken that no one will have the courage to do all this again. This is my guarantee,” Rahul Gandhi said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Meanwhile, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said that Congresspersons are never afraid and the party would fight the elections with our full might.

“Rs 4,600 Cr penalty overlooked for BJP’s Rs 42 Cr unaccounted deposit, while Rs 135 Cr penalty is demanded for Congress’ for Rs 14 lakh cash deposits by MLAs & MPs! Who is pressurising the Income Tax Department to act in this unjustified manner only against the Opposition? Why is the IT department being allowed to be used as a weapon to harass the principal opposition party – Congress! They are misusing institutions like IT, ED, CBI to subvert Democracy and belittle Constitution,” Kharge posted on X.

Giving the two examples, Kharge said that IT has now given a notice of a total of Rs 1823 Cr to the Congress party. They have already withdrawn Rs 135 Crore from Congress party’s accounts, which is a fund collected by us through crowdsourcing.

“But IT did not give any notice to BJP. Despite the fact that public information of the Election Commission clearly shows that, 1297 people have deposited Rs 42 Cr to BJP in 2017-18 without mentioning their name and addresses. Congress was fined Rs 135 Cr for Rs 14 lakh deposits and its account was frozen. But in the last 7 years, this penalty to BJP, amounts to a whopping Rs4,600 Cr! Our direct question is why is BJP getting this penalty exemption? Do these IT notices dating many years ago being served right before Lok Sabha elections prove BJP’s conspiracy to capture the Level Playing Field? 1993-94 – Rs54 Cr penalty 2016-17 – Rs182 Cr penalty 2017-18 – Rs179 Cr penalty 2018-19 – Rs918 Cr penalty 2019-20-Rs490 Cr penalty,” he added.

Kharge further said that the Congress party would free the country’s institutions from the BJP dictatorship.

“Congresspersons are never afraid! We will fight the elections with our full might. We will free the country’s institutions from BJP dictatorship,” he said.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the party will hold a protest against the continuing tax terrorism of the “Modi government”.

“To protest against the continuing tax terrorism of the Modi Government on @INCIndia, all Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) will be holding massive public demonstrations at the state and district headquarters tomorrow and the day after. Senior leaders and party functionaries will be participating. Here is the circular issued by the GS Organisation @kcvenugopalmp in this regard, and the Background Note to AICC Treasurer @ajaymaken’s Press Conference today,” Jairam posted on X.

Moreover, Congress leader KC Venugopal said that the BJP is out to financially eliminate the Congress and has filed multiple frivolous cases against us right on the eve of elections.

“As is known the world over, the BJP is out to financially eliminate the Congress and has filed multiple frivolous cases against us right on the eve of elections. Against this action, all PCCs will be protesting across the country tomorrow, in every district. This is not about our party alone, it is a systematic bludgeoning of the people’s voice. And the people will revolt,” he posted on X.

“Now in a patently illegal and undemocratic action, the Income Tax Department – has launched its next premeditated, diabolical campaign against the INC. Eight years of Income Tax returns of the INC have been reopened on baseless, manufactured grounds to levy patently illegal Income Tax Demand orders totalling thousands of crores of rupees. This is nothing but a blatant and naked attack on the very principals of democracy,” he stated in a letter.

He further said that All Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) are requested to hold massive public demonstrations at the State and District headquarters in their respective states tomorrow and the following day, involving senior leaders and party functionaries.

“Massive protest demonstrations shall be held in all constituencies, led by our party candidates. Protest demonstrations, including Mashal Juloos, shall be conducted in all districts by the District Congress Committees,” he added.

Addressing a press conference, Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken said there was an attempt to stifle the party financially during the Lok Sabha polls.

Maken said the Election Commission should ensure a level-playing field.

“We have received notices from the time of Sitaram Kesari, from 1993-94… We have been demanded to pay Rs 53 crores from the time of Sitaram Kesari. A total of Rs 1823 crores has been made by the IT department from Congress,” he said.

“We have analysed all violations of the BJP using the same parameters they used to analyse our violations… BJP has a penalty of Rs 4600 crore. The income Tax department should raise a demand from the BJP for the payment of this amount,” he added.

Maken said that efforts are being made to weaken the Congress financially, by freezing the party’s bank account before the Lok Sabha elections.

“Our analysis reveals that out of the 1,297 individuals who donated to the BJP, their identities remain undisclosed with no addresses or evidence of contribution totalling Rs 42 crore, indicating a blatant breach of regulations. Additionally, there are 92 individuals whose names are absent from the list but they provided electoral bonds to the BJP,” he said.

The Congress leaders also attacked the BJP over the electoral bond scheme.

Party leader KC Venugopal accused the Election Commission of being a mute spectator.

“Notice, account freeze, notice, account freeze. That is the BJP’s modus operandi of stifling INC financially. In a new bizarre notice, a penalty of Rs. 1800 crore has been imposed on INC.Is this how a fair election is supposed to be conducted? Is the idea of a level playing field only on paper? Why is the Election Commission a mute spectator to this?” he asked.

“If the same treatment was meted out to the BJP, they should have to pay Rs. 4600 crore. But has there been any action on them? Have any of the authorities involved moved an inch against them? This is a blatant murder of democracy and we will protest across the country against this illegal action,” he added.

Roy Walsh

Related post