Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that he had received an income tax notice, seeking clarification about the affidavits that he had filed for elections in the past, India Today reported. Pawar accused the Centre of deliberately serving the notices to Opposition leaders.

“They [the central government] love some people,” Pawar about the tax notice at a press conference. The veteran leader added that the notices were served for the elections in 2009, 2014 and 2019, and that he will reply to them soon, according to Loksatta.

The income tax department also served notices to NCP leader and Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aaditya Thackeray.

The four leaders were served the notices after the Election Commission of India reportedly reminded the Central Board of Direct Taxes of its request to investigate allegations that Thackeray, his son and Sule had filed false affidavits. The request had been made a month ago.

Pawar says he will fast for suspended Rajya Sabha MPs

The NCP chief said that he will fast for a day to express his support for the eight Rajya Sabha MPs who were suspended from the House on Sunday for their “unruly behaviour” while protesting against the government’s farm bills, NDTV reported. The suspended MPs include Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen of the Trinamool Congress, Rajiv Satav, Ripun Bora and Syed Nasir Hussain of the Congress, Elamaram Kareem and KK Ragesh of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh.

“I will not eat anything today in solidarity with the protesting members,” Pawar, who is also a Rajya Sabha member said.

The NCP leader also questioned the way in which the bills were passed. “I have never seen bills being passed like this,” he said. “They [the Centre] wanted to pass these bills soon. Members had questions regarding the bill. Prima facie it seems like they did not want a discussion.When members did not get a response they came into the well.

Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh Narayan Singh met the suspended MPs, who staged an overnight protest outside Parliament against the farm bills. Singh also said that he would fast for a day to express his anguish over the “humiliating conduct” of Opposition leaders during the tumultuous session.

On Sunday, two contentious farm ordinances, which the government claims are meant to liberalise the sector by opening it up to private players, were passed by a voice vote – not a division of votes – even though the Congress, Trinamool Congress and others made a demand for the same to the deputy chairperson. The members of Opposition parties protested against this and called it a “murder of democracy”. In the middle of the proceedings, the audio telecast of the live proceedings was briefly muted.

After Opposition party leaders were prevented from speaking in Parliament, the politicians climbed atop tables, snatched the rule book, flung documents in the air and tried to take away the deputy chairman’s microphone to lodge their protest. The eight MPs were suspended from the House on Monday. Singh, who was in the Chair during the session, claimed that leaders threw paper missiles at him and displayed “brazenly aggressive behaviour”. The deputy chairperson also accused the politicians of “raising tasteless and unparliamentary slogans”.

Farmers and traders have also been vehemently opposing the new bills, alleging the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the bills would bring about corporate dominance in agriculture.