A Congress delegation including Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Anand Sharma met the Election Commission. The delegation submitted memorandums regarding "criminal intimidation of voters" in Haryana's Kaithal and alleged Income Tax raids on the residential premises of the staff of the party.
While addressing the media, Kapil Sibal said, "Central Board of Direct Taxes officials entered houses of our accountants across the country, without a warrant or document. If this is not a danger to the fundamentals of Indian democracy, then what is?"
"For three days, the Congress Party's accounts section was totally paralyzed. With whatever meager funds party has at its disposal, accepting the fact that the BJP is the richest political party of the world and have massive funds and resources at its disposals, which has been very well documented not only nationally but globally," Anand Sharma said.
"Congress party is required to transfer, whatever funds it has, to its candidates in Maharashtra and Haryana, in their designated bank accounts by cheque, that is what the elections require and we have been prevented from doing that and that is illegality and we have conveyed to the Election Commission that they should intervene," he added.
Asserting further Anand Sharma said, "India cannot be converted into a state where democracy is under perpetual seize and the Tax department of the Government cannot become a department of the ruling party, the BJP."
According to Manish Tewari, the Congress delegation has asked the Election Commission to "call the CBDT to account, to call Secretary, Revenue to account, to call the Chairman of the Central Board of the Direct Taxes to account, seek an explanation as to why this arbitrary high handed and completely draconian behavior is taking place."
In the memorandum submitted by the Congress Party, it has stated that, On October 12, unknown officials of the Income Tax Department carried out raids on the houses of officials of the Congress party including Administrative Officer, Office Superintendent/Sr Accountant, Sr. Accountant, Sr. Assitant/Cashier, Retired and Re-appointed Cashier and Assistant with Office Bearers.
"The IT officials entered and searched the premises illegally and without any discernable warrant and refused to show any identity proof or document. Further, the officials have refused to leave and vacate the premises insisting that they would not depart until the resident arrived home to be questioned by them. There is no paper or order of summons or warrant that has been shown or served," Congress Party stated.
The memorandum by Congress delegation on Kaithal issue read, "This is to bring a grave and urgent matter to the attention of the Election Commission and to place on record criminal activities being orchestrated at the behest of the BJP candidate for Kaithal Haryana, Leela Ram Gujjar."
"In Ujhana village, reports have emerged about criminal intimidation of voters belonging to the Scheduled Castes. We are consistently and reliably informed that there are threats to either abstain from voting or to cast their vote in the presence of a BJP agent."
(With inputs from ANI)