Income Tax department Officials on Saturday searched the home of Samajwadi Party leader Rajeev Rai in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, ANI reported. Rai is the party’s national secretary and spokesperson.
Properties of two other aides of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav – Manoj Yadav and Jainendra Yadav – were also raided by the tax department in Mainpuri and Lucknow, according to India Today.
The raids happened ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which are scheduled to take place early next year. Opposition parties have often accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using central agencies to target their leaders.
Yadav predicted that after the Income Tax Department, the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate will come after his party, but said that he will not be intimidated.
“The cycle [symbol of the Samajwadi Party] will not slow down,” Yadav said while addressing media persons. “The Bharatiya Janata Party will certainly be wiped out of Uttar Pradesh. They know this, that is why they have sent the tax department.”
Yadav asked why Rai, the spokesperson of his party, was raided now and not a month ago, NDTV reported.
The I-T department suspects that Rai evaded tax, India Today reported. He is the owner of a group that runs educational institutes in Karnataka, according to NDTV.
The Samajwadi Party leader claimed he had no black money or criminal history, ANI reported. “I help people and [the] government didn’t like it,” he told the news agency. “This is a result of that. If you do anything, they will make a video, register an FIR [first information report], you will fight a case unnecessarily.”