The Income Tax department on Friday conducted raids at the properties of perfume trader and Samajwadi Party leader Pushpraj Jain “Pampi”, reported NDTV.
At least 50 locations in Uttar Pradesh linked to Jain were being raided, according to India Today. Some properties of Jain in other cities like Delhi and Mumbai were also being searched, NDTV reported.
Samajwadi Party claimed that the raids were being conducted after the tax officials mistakenly searched Kanpur businessman Piyush Jain’s properties last week. The officials had seized around Rs 200 crore in cash from homes and factories of Piyush Jain, who is also a perfume trader.
“After the huge failure last time, this time BJP’s ultimate ally Income Tax [department] has finally raided Samajwadi Party MLC Shri Pushpraj Jain and other perfume traders of Kannauj,” the party said in a tweet. “Open misuse of central agencies by the scared BJP is common in UP elections.”
In the lead up to Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh next year, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Samajwadi Party have constantly accused each other about being associated with Piyush Jain.
BJP leaders have alleged that Piyush Jain has links to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has claimed that the BJP had mistakenly ordered a raid on Piyush Jain when it wanted to target the Samajwadi Party MLC Pushpraj Jain to create a controversy ahead of the state elections.
At a press conference following a GST Council meeting on Friday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the law enforcement agencies conduct raids based on “actionable intelligence”.
She also said the nearly Rs 200 crore cash recovered from Piyush Jain was “not BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party money”, PTI reported.
“How do you know whose money is it?” the finance minister asked a reporter. “Are you his partner? Because only partners know whose money is kept.”
The finance minister sought to know if Samajwadi Party chief Akhliesh Yadav was “shaken” by the raids. She also dismissed Opposition claims that the raids were politically motivated.