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IT raids at MP Congress MLA’s premises, party links it to Presidential election

Bhopal : Income Tax Department raids started on Thursday at over 40 premises of two business groups, one of which is reportedly related to Madhya Pradesh Congress MLA Sanjay Sharma.

The raids started early in the morning at around 5 am at the premises of the Congress legislator and another business group in five cities, including Mumbai and four cities of MP, among them capital Bhopal, Jabalpur, Narsinghpur and Katni.

According to the Income Tax Department sources, the searches at the premises of both the business groups have led to over Rs 2.5 crore unaccounted cash, besides precious jewellery and incriminating documents, whose scrutiny could lead the IT department sleuths to Benami transactions.

Scrutiny of records and documents recovered during the ongoing raids at both business groups is likely to lead to tax evasion running into crores of rupees, sources confided. Documents related to suspected bogus companies and firms too have been recovered.

Both the business groups, whose premises were searched by multiple teams of over 150-plus sleuths, have stakes in diversified activities, including mining, hotel industry, liquor business, sugar industry and construction and real estate sector.

The premises of the Congress MLA where the search is underway included his residential premises in the Narsinghpur district.

Sharma, the third time MLA from Tendukheda seat of Narsinghpur district is among one of the richest politicians in Madhya Pradesh. He had won the 2003 and 2013 assembly polls on the BJP ticket and retained the seat in 2018 polls on his old party Congress’s ticket.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress linked the ongoing IT Department action at the premises of its MLA, with the July 18 presidential election.

The link between the ongoing IT department action and the presidential election was alleged by the ex-MP minister and three-times sitting MLA Umang Singhar, who earlier in the day had alleged that ruling BJP leader were making big money offers to many Congress MLAs, including him to vote for NDA’s candidate Droupadi Murmu in the July 18 election.