Tax raids on opposition leaders have become one of the key issues of this election, with most leaders accusing the BJP of targeting rivals through government agencies. Since the elections were announced, the Income Tax department conducted 11 raids on opposition parties - most of them belonging to the Andhra Pradesh-based Telugu Desam Party.
The local Income Tax Department office has become "the BJP branch office", said TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.
"I'm asking the I-T dept - who are you to conduct one-sided raids on TDP? Once elections are announced, it is a level playing field. You have to treat everybody equally. Otherwise, it's unjustified," added the Chief Minister, who is one of the key opposition leaders.
On April 2, NDTV reached out to IT Department asking for details of the raids conducted since March 10, but the Department refused to divulge any details, saying "disclosure of information in specific cases is not allowed as per the provision of section 138 of the Income-Tax Act, 1961".
But on April 8, the Department on April 8 released a detailed statement on the raids conducted in Bhopal, Indore, Goa and NCR giving details of seizure too.
Based on information available in the public domain, the IT Department has conducted around 11 raids since the Lok Sabha polls were announced by the Election Commission of India last month.
From March 10, the day poll schedule was announced, to April 10, the Department has searched more than 84 places in these 11 raids, all linked to the Opposition Parties.
The maximum number of raids was conducted in Andhra Pradesh.
On March 20, the IT officials raided properties belonging to TDP leader and Minister P Narayana. Over the following days, properties linked to TDP candidate Narashima Reddy in Kanigiri, TDP candidate Putta Sudhakar in Mydukur, TDP leader Kovelamudi Ravindra in Guntur and TDP lawmaker Jayadev Galla were raided.
Today, the IT Department conducted three raids, all again on leaders of Opposition parties.
On March 27, IT Department raided around three places in Mandya district linked to JDS leader CS Puttaraju. It was followed by searches at around eight places in Hassan targeting CM Kumarawamy's brother HD Revanna and his associates Aswath Reddy and Raya Gowda on March 28.
The same day, two places were raided in Mysore.
In Tamil Nadu, on March 29, IT sleuths searched more than four premises linked to DMK Treasurer Duraimurugan. A day earlier, raids were conducted in Naganallur at the premises linked to Sabesan.
Since April 6, more than 300 IT officials have been conducting searches at more than 52 premises linked to aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Praveen Kakkar and Rajendra Kumar.
The searches were conducted in Bhopal, Indore in MP, followed by Goa and National Capital Regions too.
In total, more than 84 places all linked to Opposition parties have been searched by the IT sleuths as part of 11 raids conducted since March 10.