Days after the Income Tax officials raided the houses of former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao and his son over alleged tax evasion, the official today thanked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. The I-T officials had earlier said that Rao’s son admitted to “a total unaccounted income of about Rs 17 crore” after the raid on his house on December 21.
“Vivek (Rao’s son) has admitted to a total unaccounted income of about [approximately] Rs 17 crore which includes Rs 5 crore disclosure made by him yesterday,” PTI quoted a top I-T official as saying on December 22. The I-T sleuths had received inputs of alleged tax evasion by Rao and his son following a raid on the premises of Shekhar Reddy and his associates in which they had recovered Rs 135 crore in cash and 177 kg gold bars.
Following the raids, Rao was removed from the top post. The I-T department had raided 11 places linked to Rao, apart from those of his son. According to PTI, the I-T officials had claimed they recovered Rs 30 lakh in new currency notes and 5 kg gold during the raid. However, today Rao alleged he was a victim a conspiracy. “I am being targeted. I have fear, my life is in danger,” he told reporters.
“They found Rs 1,12,320 in my house, gold that belongs to my wife and daughter and silver articles and ornaments of God around 20-25 kg,” Rao claimed while speaking to reporters.
Rao labelled serious allegations against the government. He also claimed that he continues to be the Tamil Nadu secretary and the government has no guts to remove him. “I was the Chief Secretary, I am the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu. They have no guts to serve me with the copy of transfer order,” he said.
Rao said that he would not have been made to suffer like this if Jayalalithaa was alive. “At gun point CRPF entered my house. They entered my son’s house at gun point.Why did they do? I may be a big hurdle for many,” the official said, adding, “If madam (Jayalalithaa) had been alive, would this happen to Tamil Nadu? What about people’s security?”
Rao alleged that the raiding party had no search warrant with them and hinted the state government was conspiring with the Centre against him. “Where is state government? What role or business does government of India, CRPF have to enter Chief Secretary’s chamber? Did they get CM’s permission.”
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“Isn’t this unconstitutional assault? Where’s the state govt? Whose permission did CRPF get to enter my house?” Rao asked. The official, however, said that the search team had the name of his son on the warrant they were carrying.
The former Chief Secretary claimed the search team found nothing, not even any incriminating document. “CRPF entered my house. They showed me the search warrant, my name was not there. They have found nothing.” Rao claimed that he was put under house arrest. Following the raids, Rahul and Banerjee had attacked the centre for “deliberately” raiding constitutional authorities in the states.
Commenting on Rao’s allegations, Union Minister of Finance for State Arjun Meghwal today said, “Everyone is equal before law. Whosoever does wrong will be punished. He (Rao) should think as a common man. Had there been no action if a common man had committed a crime? He will also have to face action.”
(Inputs from agencies)