Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan today said there was no conspiracy in the raids conducted on premises linked to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her relatives and held that the Income Tax department’s actions were based on information. The minister of state for finance rejected deposed AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran’s charge of conspiracy. Dhinakaran had alleged that the multi-city searches at 187 places conducted since November 9 were a “conspiracy” aimed at ousting him and his jailed aunt from politics. “The income tax raids are based on information and documents collected by the department…There is no conspiracy in this,” Radhakrishnan told reporters here. The I-T raids, he said, went beyond state, language and caste factors. “There was no ulterior motive in the searches and none should see them with parochial presumptions,” he said.
The raids to detect tax evasion as part of the I-T Department’s “Operation Clean Money” were almost over, a senior I-T official said today. Radhakrishnan also rejected the charge by some opposition leaders that the I-T department was being used to target them, saying raids had also been carried out against companies owned by BJP leaders in other states. “The Income tax department is an independent authority. We cannot question them if they take any action against any person. I-T raids are taking place in other states. There is no truth in the allegation that the Income Tax department is biased,” he said.
Radhakrishnan, who is also the minister of state for shipping, said there was no link between the recent meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and DMK chief M Karunanidhi and the raids against Sasikala’s family members and associates. He said the meeting had “scared some parasites” in the DMK-led alliance, although it was a courtesy call. He alleged that the Dravidian parties had “cheated” the Tamil Nadu people for the past 50 years and “plundered” public funds.
On the GST rate cuts, he said these would benefit the people, especially the poor and traders, and industrialists would realise the advantage of the new tax regime shortly. He said even the demonetisation exercise was criticised by some people initially because of the problems that they faced. But they later realised it was a good step and welcomed it, he claimed. Similarly, there were some hiccups when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented. But traders would realise it was a good system as tax payment had been simplified, he added.