Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday apprised about the protest that is being staged by the Congress Committee against the raid and took place at the house of his deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasia. Over half a dozen of I-T officials reportedly conducted a raid at Chaurasia's house on Friday, February 28. A team of IT officials from Delhi have been conducting a crackdown on Chief Minister's close aides and big-wigs of the state government over 'political funding.'
Agitated by the uninformed raid, Baghel stated that Chhattisgarh Congress Committee will protest against the Raid of Income Tax Department at Gandhi Maidan in Raipur. He added that the situation has created an atmosphere of panic in all the cities.
"The income tax department raided has not been informed and are moving all over the state. An atmosphere of panic has been created in all cities. The Chhattisgarh Congress Committee will protest against the raid of Income Tax Department in Chhattisgarh at Gandhi Maidan in Raipur and will also surround the Income Tax Department's office in Raipur, " said Baghel.
Earlier on Friday, the Chief Minister termed the raid as a 'political revenge' and claimed that there was an attempt to 'destabilise' his government.
"There is an attempt to destabilise our government as we have a majority. This action has been taken with bad intent," Baghel told reporters.
"We have never stopped Income Tax raids because earlier there used to be prior information but now there is no information. This is political revenge," he added.
The Income Tax department on Thursday raided at least 25 premises linked to Chhattisgarh government officials and others on charges of tax evasion, officials said. Those covered under the action include family members of a senior IAS officer in the state. About 25 premises are being raided as part of the action, they said.
The raids were conducted on Thursday, just a day after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) registered an FIR against former principal secretary Aman Singh, the long-time top associate of former Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP.
Sources said the premises linked to A K Tuteja, joint secretary in the state commerce and industry department, retired IAS officer and former chief secretary of the state Vivek Dhand and Raipur Mayor Ezaj Dhebar are being searched. Dhand is also the Chairman of Chhattisgarh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
Some locations linked to liquor barons Anwar Dhebar (Mayor Ezaj Dhebar's brother) and Pappu Bhatia are also being searched, they said. Senior Congress MLA and party's state chief Mohan Markam said he came to know about the I-T raids at various locations, including his party mayor's premises and other officials, in Raipur through media.
It is the survey of the I-T and details of it are being taken, he told reporters in the state assembly premises. State government authorities did not offer any comment. Officials said the I-T teams are assisted by the CRPF, a central paramilitary force, to conduct the raids in Raipur and a few other locations, the officials added.