The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday said that the Centre had sent its MLA Atishi an Income Tax notice for declaring assets worth Rs 59 lakh in her affidavit for the Delhi Assembly elections in 2020. It criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for targeting Atishi and labelled it “sexist and chauvinist”.
AAP National Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the Income Tax notice was related to Atishi’s declaration of movable assets in the form of fixed deposits and mutual funds. “If even a common person would read Atishi’s background and profile mentioned in the affidavit itself, they would understand why it is laughable to send her a notice for this amount and her savings,” Bharadwaj said.
Bharadwaj noted that Atishi finished a post-graduate degree from Oxford University and was also a Rhodes Scholar. “After obtaining such prestigious qualifications and working eight to 10 years with research organisations and think tanks, a person can earn enough money,” he said. “When kept in banks and mutual funds for seven to eight years, the money can easily add up to Rs 50 to 60 lakh.”
Bharadwaj also criticised the department for sending notices for assets worth Rs 60 lakh when there had been frauds amounting to lakhs of crores of rupees in the country.
In a tweet, Bharadwaj said that the “sexist and chauvinist BJP” had stooped to “another low of vendetta politics”.
He added: “BJP cannot tolerate educated young women in politics.”
Atishi said she will not be deterred by the notice. “I have nothing to hide,” she said at the press briefing. “I will produce all documents that the Income Tax Department requires. I challenge BJP leaders to make their properties public.”
She accused the BJP of using central agencies to harass AAP leaders. “Despite their attempts, they haven’t been able to sustain once case against AAP,” she said. “They want to scare educated and honest people in politics.”
Atishi had won the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections from Kalkaji constituency. AAP had swept the elections by winning 62 of 70 seats. The BJP won eight seats.