IT notices to Cong biased action: Priyanka

NEW DELHI, Apr 1: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday slammed the BJP Government over the Income Tax department’s notices to her party, describing the move as a “biased action” to weaken the voice of 140 crore Indians.
She asserted that people will never allow the “anti-democratic plans” of the BJP to succeed.
The Income Tax department has sent multiple notices to the Congress, raising a total demand of Rs 3,567 crore.
On Sunday, the party said it has received fresh income tax notices, raising a tax demand of Rs 1,745 crore for the assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17. Two days earlier, it said that it received notices from the I-T department, asking it to pay around Rs 1,823 crore.
In a post in Hindi on X, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi asked why a fine of Rs 3,567 crore had been imposed on the Congress.
“What is the allegation against the Congress? In 1994-95, again in 2014-15 and 2016-17 etc., leaders and workers had deposited some money in cash in the party’s account, information of which had already been shared with the Income Tax department. But the government is levelling arbitrary allegations that the Congress has not provided information,” she said.
“What punishment did Congress get? The Income Tax Department withdrew Rs 135 crore from the Congress account, a penalty notice of Rs 3,567 crore was issued to the party and the bank accounts of the Congress were frozen,” she alleged.
In the post she said, “Now look at another truth — according to the account of the BJP’s money available on the Election Commission website, in 2017-18, as many as 1,297 people gave Rs 42 crore to the BJP without giving their details of name, address and complete information.”
The Income Tax Department has neither raised any objection nor any action has been taken on this anonymous income of Rs 42 crore of the BJP, Priyanka Gandhi said, adding the BJP has to pay a fine of Rs 4,600 crore for violating the rules of accounts of political parties, but no word has been raised on that.
Why is the rule that is being applied to the Congress not applied to the BJP, she asked.
“In fact, at the time of elections, this biased action is being taken to weaken our and 140 crore Indians’ voice. We will fight with double strength. The people of the country will never allow the anti-democratic plans of BJP to succeed,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress leaders have accused the BJP of indulging in “tax terrorism” and financially crippling the principal opposition party during the Lok Sabha elections. By doing so, they are disturbing the level playing field during elections, the Congress has alleged and has also complained to the Election Commission in this regard.
On Monday the Income Tax department told the Supreme Court that it will not take any coercive action against the Congress over the tax demand notices of approximately Rs 3,500 crore in view of the Lok Sabha elections.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the IT department, said that no precipitative action will be taken in the prevailing circumstances till the final adjudication of the matter. (PTI)