Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati's former secretary was raided by the Income Tax officials over suspected tax evasions amounting to Rs 100 crore. The raids are going on at 12 locations in Lucknow and Delhi.
"Netram has amassed wealth and evaded tax worth hundreds of crores, raids are being conducted to unearth the alleged tax evasion. The raids started in the morning and expected to go on till late in the evening," Income Tax office sources told NDTV.
A retired IAS officer, Netram was believed to be quite close to Mayawati during her tenure as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister between 2007 and 2012. He was the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister for five years..
A Dalit by caste, he held key posts like principal secretary in the department of agriculture and also headed the excise, sugarcane, food and civil supplies department.
Later, when Akhilesh Yadav became the Chief Minister in 2012, Netram was moved to insignificant posts. He retired in 2014 as the Director General of the Academy of Administration and Management.
Earlier in January giant statues of elephants and BSP icons, built during Mayawati's rule in Uttar Pradesh, had come under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate. The probe agency had raided half a dozen places in state capital Lucknow.
The raids came weeks after the CBI launched an inquiry into the role of Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati's alliance partner in UP for the national election, in an alleged illegal mining case.
Both the leaders, both former chief ministers, have accused the ruling BJP at the centre of using investigative agencies to target political rivals and punish the opposition "gathbandhan" or alliance.
"Petty politics and political conspiracy are not new for the BJP. The people of the country have understood it and they will teach the BJP a lesson in the Lok Sabha polls," said Mayawati.