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SP In Soup Ahead Of UP Polls As I-T Dept Raids Its MLC Pushpraj Jain; Says 'BJP Is Scared'

In a big embarrassment to SP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh polls, the Income Tax Department conducted multiple raids on premises linked to its MLC Pushpraj Jain. 

PTI/Republic


In a big embarrassment to Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh polls, the Income Tax Department conducted multiple raids on premises linked to its MLC Pushpraj Jain aka Pampi Jain. Jain who was elected to the UP Legislative Council in 2016 is the manufacturer of the Samajwadi Perfume which was formally launched by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on November 9. As per sources, the ongoing searches at nearly 50 locations including Kanpur, Kannauj, Mumbai, Surat and Dindigul are based on a specific input of tax evasion provided by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence.

Reacting to this, SP stated, "As soon as our respected National President Akhilesh Yadav announced the press conference in Kannauj, the BJP government started carrying out raids at the premises of SP MLC Pampi Jain. BJP's fear and anger are clear, People are ready to teach a lesson to BJP". It also accused BJP of misusing central investigative agencies to gain dividends in the UP election due early next year. However, sources indicated that other perfume traders including Malik Mian are also being raided by the I-T Department. 

SP's 'mistaken identity' claim

This latest development assumes significance after the recent seizure of Rs.197.47 crore, 23 kg of gold and offending goods of high value were seized from perfume trader Piyush Jain's premises. He was arrested on December 26 based on evidence and his purported confession under Section 132 of the CGST Act and remanded to 14 days' judicial custody a day later. While the BJP leadership including PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath associated him to SP during their election rallies, Akhilesh Yadav staunchly denied this claim. 

Speaking to the media on Tuesday before the start of his 'Samajwadi Vijay Yatra' in Unnao, Yadav contended that the central agency had mistakenly raided Piyush Jain, whom he described as a businessman linked with BJP, instead of the intended target- Pushpraj Jain. Taking a swipe at BJP, he quipped, "Due to the mistake of Digital India, it got its own businessman raided". Moreover, he added that the Call Detail Record of Jain's phone would reveal the names of many BJP leaders who were in touch with him. 

BJP-SP faceoff in UP polls

In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, BJP had won a whopping 312 seats in the 403-member House, whereas BSP could win only 19 seats. On the other hand, the SP-Congress alliance failed to bear fruit as it could win in only 54 constituencies. At present, former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has embarked on a statewide tour as a part of his "Samajwadi Vijay Yatra" in a bid to stage a comeback in the state.

Buoyed by the overwhelming public support during his election campaign, he has often predicted that SP will win 400 seats in the 2022 Assembly polls. While Akhilesh Yadav has ruled out any alliance with Congress and BSP, he has announced a tie-up with Shivpal Yadav's PSP(L), Mahan Dal, OP Rajbhar's SBSP, RLD and the Apna Dal faction of Krishna Patel. However, the Election Commission of India is yet to officially announces the dates for the polls in UP and the other 4 poll-bound states.

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