Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people of Delhi for "constantly troubling" the government they voted for, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said following raids at multiple premises linked to his minister Kailash Gahlot.
At least 16 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon were raided by a team of over 60 income tax department officials and the police in connection with an alleged tax evasion case.
"Friendship with Nirav Modi and (Vijay) Mallya and raid on us? Modiji you conducted raids on me, Satyendar (Jain) and Manish (Sisodia). What happened to those (raids)? Nothing was found. So before you go with another raid at least apologise to the people of Delhi for troubling their elected government," Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
The search teams raided properties in Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony, Paschim Vihar, Najafgarh, Laxmi Nagar and Palam Vihar area in Gurgaon as part of the I-T department's probe into alleged tax evasion against two firms -- Brisk Infrastructure and Developers Pvt Ltd and Corporate International Financial Services Limited -- that are operated and owned by the Gahlot family, the officials said.
While the former company is engaged in real estate, the latter is said to be a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC). The officials said multiple transactions and alleged under-reporting of profits led to the probe against the promoters of the two firms and their operations.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj demanded that central agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to disclose if it found anything related to "corruption" during their numerous raids on AAP leaders and ministers.
IT raids on Minister Kailash Gahlot. When will you understand Sahab, you won't be able to bog AAP down with these tactics. AAP has been counting raids since it put you the mat in Delhi and you were left red faced on the massive defeat.- arunoday (@arunodayprakash) October 10, 2018
"Many such raids were conducted in the past, but nothing substantial came out and no charge-sheet was filed. The court reprimanded the Delhi Police for non-existent cases," said AAP leader Atishi.
Ms Atishi also accused the centre of trying to "intimidate" the Delhi government and alleged that Kailash Gahlot was targeted for leading the party's legal battle against disqualification of its 20 lawmakers and for successfully implementing a scheme for doorstep delivery of essential public services.
Mr Gahlot is the minister for transport, law and revenue and is an Aam Aadmi Party legislator from the Najafgarh Assembly Constituency.
"Both PM Modi and Amit Shah want illegal and unconstitutional disqualification of the 20 MLAs whose legal battle was being led by Gahlot," she said.
The AAP supports investigation of allegations, but why single out only one party's leaders and ministers, she asked.
"On an average, the AAP gets at least one notice every day from the I-T department. The AAP is the only party that accepts all donations through banking channels, cheques or online. It's clear that the centre is using all its agencies to intimidate the AAP," said Atishi, one of the nine advisers to the Arvind Kejriwal's government, who were sacked by the centre, saying the posts didn't have its approval.