Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday dismissed allegations of political vendetta behind Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate raids on Opposition leaders and their aides. In an interview with ANI, Singh said: “It is unfair to hold the government responsible for the raids. This is an ongoing process. Agencies act on their own intelligence inputs.”
On Sunday, the Income Tax department had searched the Indore home of Praveen Kakkad, an officer on special duty to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, and other properties related to Kakkad. Premises connected with Kamal Nath’s nephew and businessman Ratul Puri, Nath’s brother-in-law Deepak Puri’s firm Moser Baer, and the home of Nath’s former advisor Rajendra Kumar Miglani in Delhi were also searched.
On Monday, the Income Tax department claimed that the raids conducted in Madhya Pradesh exposed a “well-organised” racket involving unaccounted cash of Rs 281 crore.
Singh claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party never promised to transfer Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts of the people. “We had said that we will take action [karyawahi] against black money,” he told ANI. “Action is being taken against black money. It was our government which made SIT on the topic of black money.”
Bringing back black money was one of the main poll agenda in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Singh’s claims come in the backdrop of Opposition parties accusing the BJP of making false promises in 2014 and again in 2019.
On the matter of ties with Pakistan, Singh said talks and terrorism cannot go hand in hand. “If Pakistan commits to restrict terrorism, we are ready to talk,” he said. He added that nobody is called an anti-national in India because of raising questions. “But why should we ask for proof?” he asked, referring to the Opposition’s demands for evidence of the Balakot airstrike.
On Adityanath calling the Indian Army “Modiji ki Sena”, Singh claimed the Uttar Pradesh chief minister may have uttered it by chance. But he added that politicisation of any agency is not correct.
The home minister predicted that the National Democratic Alliance will form the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership in 2019. Asked if he or Nitin Gadkari can be the next prime minister if the BJP fails to get a majority, Singh said, “These are all imaginary situations. We will get clear majority or even 2/3rd. The PM will be Modiji, no doubt about that.”
Singh claimed that the BJP does not seek votes on religious lines. He called Mayawati’s statement that the Muslim vote should not be divided very unfortunate. “Politics should not be done on basis of Hindu-Muslim,” said Singh. “Politics should not be done on caste or creed or religion. Cannot accept this in a healthy democracy.”