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BJP-led Centre indulging in ‘financial terrorism’:Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP-led Centre of indulging in “financial terrorism” against it and alleged that the government had “looted” over Rs 65 crore from its accounts to economically cripple the party ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

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The Congress also alleged that the ruling party was attempting to “murder democracy” and drag the country to a “dictatorship raj”.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters along with Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Ajay Maken, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said “tax terrorism attacks” were being carried out against it.

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“A conspiracy is being hatched to make the Congress financially crippled. This is an attempt to murder democracy,” Ramesh said.

He also said that the action shows that the BJP government is rattled by the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the farmers’ movement and rising inflation.

Maken said the BJP-led Centre had “looted” about Rs 65 crore from its accounts through the Income tax department.

He said this is an attempt by the government to cripple the Congress party financially ahead of the Lok Sabha elections so that it is not able to fight polls.

The BJP government has started “financial terrorism” against the principal opposition party, he alleged.

There are five accounts from which this money has been withdrawn, he claimed.

Congress general secretary, organisation, Venugopal, said this action amounts to “attack on democratic principles and values”.

“They (government) are trying to shut the voice of the Opposition. This type of low-level attack has never happened in history.We will fight it out,” he said.

“Clearly this is an example of dictatorship. The BJP is dragging the largest democracy in the world to a ‘dictatorship raj’,” Venugopal charged.

Maken asked whether the BJP has ever paid Income Tax.

“Do we have democracy in our country? Is it a level playing field?” he said.

“We filed our return on 2nd February, 2019, the proceedings of taking out our money took place five years after, just two weeks before the elections are to be announced,” he said.

The turn of events started suddenly when, on February 14 the IT Department issued a notice to four bankers of 11 branches of AICC, Youth Congress and NSUI. The Income tax department has made a demand of more than Rs 210 crore, the party said.

Since no bank had such amounts in our accounts, our accounts were virtually frozen and thus inoperable, it said in a statement.

“We approached the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, requesting it to grant a stay; the IT officials clarified before the Tribunal that it was an exercise to ‘mark the lien’; thus, the account was not frozen,” the party said.

“But brazenly, the IT Department went a step ahead and transferred our funds to the government accounts,” it alleged.

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