New Delhi: Amid a host of searches at premises of persons linked to political leaders, the revenue department has told the Election Commission that its drive against use of unaccounted money in elections was non-discriminatory and irrespective of political affiliations.
In response to a communication from poll regulator earlier in the week, the revenue department has said that it always follows the practice of conducting operations only when there are ‘actionable intelligence.’ The revenue authority’s assurance to the poll regulator comes at a time the opposition parties led by the Congress party have accused the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led union government of misusing agencies for what they called ‘vendetta politics’. Parliamentary polls are set to begin on Thursday.
“We understand the words ‘neutral’, ‘impartial’ and ‘non-discriminatory’ mean that we must act as and when information is available against anyone irrespective of political affiliation," the revenue department said in its letter to the Commission dated 8 April. Mint has seen a copy of the letter.
The revenue department also urged the poll regulator to advise its officials to take immediate action or inform the tax department if they come across instances of illicit money use in elections.
News agency PTI said the Commission had in its letter to Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey on April 7 "strongly advised" that any action by its enforcement agencies during the election time should be "neutral" and "non-discriminatory".
On Monday evening, the tax department said searches in Madhya Pradesh have led to discovery of a racket linked to a political party which was involved in collection of unaccounted wealth. It also said a part of the ₹281 crore that this racket had collected was sent to the headquarter of a major political party in the capital.
It also claimed that during searches in the national capital region, Bhopal, Indore and Goa, handwritten diaries, computer files and excel sheets showing collection and disbursement of cash have been found. Unaccounted cash of over ₹14 crore, 252 bottles of liquor, a few arms and hide-skins of tiger were among the recovered items during the searches, it said.