Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that the nearly 200 million. Rs. cash recovered from a raid in Uttar Pradesh, “is not BJP money”, as she offered the most complete defense to date of the act, denying it was a case of false identity as the opposition has claimed.
In response to a question from the GST Council meeting, she said law enforcement agencies act on the basis of actionable intelligence in conducting raids and rejected questions about the timing of the tax raids, saying they were based on actionable intelligence.
“It’s not BJP money,” she said when she was accused that the Rs 197.49 crore cash recovered from perfume maker Piyush Jain in UP’s Kannauj was her party’s money and the tax authorities had searched the person by “error” and now raiding others Jain they had originally wanted to target.
“No ordinary people have 24 kg of gold in their homes … The height of the wall is the height of the cash,” the minister said.
She said former Prime Minister Akhliesh Yadav is “shaken” by the raids as she tried to defend the action.
“How do you know whose money it is? Are you his partner? For only partners know whose money is kept,” she said.
She rejected the opposition’s accusation that the raids were politically motivated, and asked if the raid parties were coming empty-handed.
Recovery of money shows that there was vigorous intelligence, she said, adding that the raids that took place on Friday were also based on such inputs.
Days after a tax raid on a businessman in Uttar Pradesh, Piyush Jain, revealed conspicuous piles of cash, but raised questions about whether it had found its intended target, the opposition party Samajwadi Party’s Pushpraj ‘Pampi’ Jain found itself wanted by the authorities here to morning.
Around 50 places are being searched by the income tax department in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Mumbai, which is linked to the businessman who owns perfumery, petrol pumps and cold room operations and had launched a ‘Samajwadi Party perfume’ ahead of the UP election, which was to take place in the beginning of next year.
The raid comes amid a fog of speculation surrounding the huge move in Kanpur and Kannauj’s premises by another businessman Piyush Jain, which led to the recovery of Rs 197 million in cash and 23kg of gold.
When the raids came in the midst of a high-profile election campaign, they have come into political speeches in which the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi party accuse each other of supporting the imprisoned perfume dealer.
BJP had claimed that it was Piyush Jain who recently launched the Samajwadi perfume. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Kanpur on Wednesday, when he struck a blow against the opposition party: “Boxes full of banknotes have come out. The people of Kanpur understand business and trade well. Before 2017, the perfume of corruption they had sprinkled over it Uttar Pradesh is there for all to see. “
Yadav has retaliated, saying the BJP had mixed businessman Piyush Jain with the Samajwadi party’s Pushpraj Jain, who launched the perfume named after the party. He denied any connection to Piyush Jain, saying the BJP had “its own businessman assaulted by mistake”.