Income Tax (IT) department conducted raids at several locations in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday, January 31. According to the details received, the IT personnel raided many locations across separate districts including Bhilai, Raigarh and Balrampur.
Several premises linked to senior Congress leader and former food minister Amarjit Bhagat have also been raided by the IT team. According to the details, the officials of the IT department raided the Rajpur-based residence of Rajesh Verma, Personal Assistance (PA) of the former minister. Further, a raid was also conducted at premises linked to the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of Amarjit Bhagat, Atul Shete at Raigarh, suggests reports.
Furthermore, the sleuths of the agencies on Wednesday morning raided the Ambikapur-based house of the congress leader Bhagat. The raids have been conducted in the wake of an First Information Report (FIR) filed against Bhagat in the alleged coal levy scam worth 540 crores by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the State recently.
The officials of the IT department also raided premises linked to a few businessmen, builders, and others in Chhattisgarh’s capital, Raipur and Korba district. It’s been learned that the IT team also investigated separate documents during the raid.
Meanwhile, reacting to the IT raids, former minister Amarjit Bhagat said that the action against him was politically motivated and it was initiated to disrupt the ongoing Bharat Nyay Yatra commenced by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi which is all set to enter Surguja in a few days’ time. It is to be noted that Bhagat has been bestowed upon the responsibility of convener in the said Yatra.
Further, the raids conducted by IT also grabbed attention from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders whose spokesperson termed the incident unfortunate.
In a video message shared by the social media handle of the BJP state unit of Chhattisgarh, BJP spokesperson Sanjay Srivastava said that its unfortunate that a former minister of the State has come under the radar of IT and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The former minister has claimed that the raids conducted against him were due to him being made the convener or willing to contest the Lok Sabha election. he should be reminded that the way ED has reported to ACB that a transaction of Rs 50 lakhs pertaining to coal scam has taken place, proves that the former minister is under the scope of corruption, added Srivastava.
छ्त्तीसगढ़ के लिए दुर्भाग्य की बात है कि एक पूर्व मंत्री ED एवं IT के दायरे में आ गए हैं…
— BJP Chhattisgarh (@BJP4CGState) January 31, 2024
The BJP spokesperson further asserted that the minister is making such a statement out of frustration; it’s an act of looting the poorer and whoever will loot the money of the people will have to face such actions, added Srivastava in the end.
It is to be noted that earlier, Chhattisgarh’s ACB lodged separate FIR against as many as 100 people in connection with the alleged liquor and coal levy scams. According to the details, the list includes former Congress ministers, bureaucrats, businessmen, and others who have been named by the ACB in connection with the alleged scams occurred under the previous government regime.