Atleast 15 legislators in Madhya Pradesh have been summoned by the Income Tax Department over discrepancies related to the income and assets declarations made by them in their election affidavits for the 2018 assembly polls. The lawmakers are from the ruling Congress, its ally Bahujan Samaj Party and the BJP, which is the main opposition in the state assembly.
Among the politicians summoned by the department is a serving minister in the Madhya Pradesh cabinet and two former state ministers.
For now, the lawmakers are exempted from making personal appearance. They can send their representatives for submitting their detailed explanations about the discrepancies, which run into crores of rupees.
A former Samajwadi Party lawmaker, who lost the 2018 assembly election, has also been summoned.
The action has been taken as part of the process of verification of declarations made by the 230 lawmakers as well as some candidates who lost.
The exercise of verifying details in the poll affidavits by matching them with information given in their income tax returns is being carried out in pursuance of the Supreme Court guidelines.
Based on the response to the summons, the department will prepare a detailed report of lawmakers' income and assets and send it to the Election Commission. Action as per the tax laws will be initiated against them if the verification unearths large scale tax evasion or benami property, officials say.