Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said when law enforcing agencies raid any place, they go only with actionable intelligence. Saying that the wrong man has been raided raises questions over the professionalism of the agency. “How does Uttar Pradesh former chief minister know that this is BJP’s money? Is he the partner? Is he scared,” Sitharaman said on the sidelines of the press conference of the GST council meet.
Asserting that both the raids on the premises of Peeyush Jain which continued for almost a week and the raid on Pushpraj Jain on Friday have been based on specific inputs, the finance minister said, “Did they come empty-handed? Politicisation of such a thing is condemnable.”
On the timing of the raids coinciding with the election in the state, Sitharaman said, “Should we wait for a muhurtam to catch the thief?” The height of the wall is the height of the cash, Sitharaman said.
On December 26, Kannauj-based perfume maker Peeyush Jain was raided and recovery of the huge amount of cash stunned the officials. Cash was hidden in underground bunkers, eyewitnesses accompanying the tax officials said. The finance ministry said the seizure of ₹177 crore unaccounted cash was the biggest ever seizure of cash by an enforcement agency.
The raid became a political issue ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election as Peeyush Jain was linked with Samajwadi Party which the party denied.
Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP got its own businessman raided by mistake. “By mistake, the BJP got its own businessman raided. Instead of SP leader Pushpraj Jain, it got Piyush Jain raided,” Akhilesh said. Pushpraj Jain, on the other hand, is an SP MLC who launched Samajwadi perfume.
Incidentally, Pushpraj Jain was raided on Friday as part of the income tax department’s action on certain perfume traders in Uttar Pradesh. Searches were conducted on 30-40 premises in Kannauj, Kanpur, Delhi, Surat, Mumbai and a few other places.
Both Peeyush Jain and Pushpraj Jain have their residential premises located at a distance of a few metres in the same locality in Kannauj.
The raids were pre-determined. Information was coming here for the past few days that raids have started on SP leaders. Here, for the last two weeks, there have been raids on people associated with Samajwadi and whenever the BJP leaders from Delhi come to Uttar Pradesh they bring these agencies along. During this time, they are instructed to conduct raids,” Akhilesh said on Friday.
“Remember, when there were elections in West Bengal, all the agencies of Delhi had reached Bengal. It happened with Stalin in Tamil Nadu and the same thing happened in Bangalore,” Akhilesh said.