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Income Tax Raids Are Politically Motivated: Bhupesh Baghel To PM Modi

Baghel pointed out that the actions of Finance/Home Ministries of Government of India are "nothing short of an affront to the idea of 'Cooperative Federalism' that you have often spoken about but instead reflects 'Coercive and insecure Centralism'."

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that I-T raids in the state are "politically motivated".

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Baghel pointed out that the actions of Finance/Home Ministries of Government of India are "nothing short of an affront to the idea of 'Cooperative Federalism' that you have often spoken about but instead reflects 'Coercive and insecure Centralism'." "The actions of agencies of the Government of India is political vendetta on one hand and threaten the very core of our democracy on the other. As a former Chief Minister, you would agree that law and order is a state subject and central forces cannot be deployed in a state without the consent of and prior intimation of the state government. If each one of us fails to adhere to this cardinal principle of our Constitutional democracy, we would become an undemocratic anarchy," Baghel said.

He noted that the Income Tax Department conducted "multiple raids (25 as per reports) on various locations in the state of Chhattisgarh between February 27 till date."

"It is my belief that the method, manner and intent with which the raids have been conducted invites questions for two reasons - First, the raids have been conducted in a clandestine, cloak and dagger manner without any information being provided to the state government or the state police," Baghel wrote.

"Second, and perhaps of greater concern for your good self, the officials of the IT Department carrying out the raids were accompanied by officials of the Central Reserve Police Force, a central and specialised elite force to be deployed only in cases of 'internal disturbances' in the country or at the specific request made by the state government to the Centre. The logic is simple, as your good self is well aware and as you have espoused in the past as the Chief Minister of Gujarat - law and order is a state subject," he added.

The Income Tax Department had on Monday conducted a raid on the residence of Saumya Chaurasiya, deputy secretary to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. The team of IT Department entered the residence in the presence of Chaurasiya. The department had, on February 29, sealed the residence.

The I-T Department had last week conducted raids at 25 premises, including those of Congress leader and Raipur Mayor Ajaz Dhebar and senior IAS officers in the state.

The officials raided properties of Ajaz Dhebar, his brother Anwar Dhebar and liquor baron Pappu Bhatiya.

Searches were also conducted on the premises of senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, Vivek Dhand and Anil Tuteja. Dhand is also a former Chief Secretary of the state. (ANI)


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