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IT raids on AAP minister: Kejriwal asks PM to apologise

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New Delhi |┬áHours after the Income Tax Department raids on premises linked to his minister Kailash Gahlot, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday sought an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to people for “constantly troubling” the AAP government.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party accused the Modi government of trying to “intimidate” the AAP dispensation by getting its leaders and ministers raided by central agencies.

The party also termed the raid as “political vendetta”.

The Income Tax Department (ITD) Wednesday conducted searches on multiple premises linked to Gahlot, the Delhi Transport Minister, in connection with an alleged tax evasion case, officials said.

“Friendship with Nirav Modi and Mallya and raid on us? Modiji you conducted raids on me Satyendra and Manish what happened to those (raids). Nothing was found.

“So before you go with another raid at least apologise to Delhi people for troubling their elected government,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

The Najafgarh MLA holds charge of several departments in the Kejriwal government.

They include Law and Administrative Reforms department that are handling the matter of disqualification of 20 AAP legislators for holding posts of parliamentary secretary, and the doorstep delivery of services scheme, respectively.

“It’s clear why Kailash Gahlot is facing Income Tax raids. Modi and (Amit) Shah want illegal and unconstitutional disqualification of 20 MLAs whose legal battle was being led by Gahlot.

“He also oversaw the successful implementation of doorstep delivery scheme despite efforts to derail it by the BJP,” said AAP leader Atishi.

AAP supports investigation of allegations, but why to single out only party’s leaders and ministers, she questioned.

“No matter which agency Modi and Shah send after us, we will not be intimidated and continue to serve people in Delhi,” she said in a press briefing.

Another AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said the central agencies including the CBI, the ED and the ITD should disclose if it found anything related to “corruption” during their raids on AAP leaders and ministers.

“Many such raids happened in the past but nothing substantial came out and nor any charge sheet was filed,” he said.

The searches were conducted as part of a tax evasion probe against two construction firms linked to the minister and others, the officials said.

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