AAP welcomes I-T notice, sees no political vendetta
A day after being dealt a crushing blow at the hustings by the Aam Aadmi party the BJP appears in no mood to relent.
The Income Tax department on Wednesday said it has issued notices to 50 entities in Delhi, which includes the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress, to check alleged tax evasion by fake companies which issue cheques to convert black money into white. Curiously no notices were issued to the BJP where 75 per cent of its donations come from unknown sources. As per sources, between 2004-5 and 2011, the BJP had received Rs 952.5 crore from unknown sources. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy making body of the I-T, said the taxman has taken the action after it was suspected that a number of bogus or ‘entry operator’ companies were converting illegal cash into legitimate money in the national capital by donating black money to parties after similar instances were detected by its sleuths in Kolkata.
The notices here, the CBDT said, were issued on February 9, a day before counting of votes in Delhi. “The notices which have been issued in Delhi include the AAP and Congress for receiving donations worth Rs 2 crore and Rs 10 lakh respectively. The investigations wing of the department has taken up the cases based on information obtained through media reports and preliminary inquiry done subsequently,” a senior I-T officer said.
Buoyed over their stunning victory, the AAP on Wednesday played down suggestions of political vendetta being behind the IT notices on receipt of Rs two crore by the party from four ‘ dubious sources’ instead they welcomed the move.
The party leaders reiterated their demand for a Supreme Court monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate all ‘controversial’ funding to political parties.
“We welcome the notice of Income Tax department. It is very good step for the people of India. We again raise our demand of a high level investigation into political funding by Supreme Court monitored SIT. The law of political funding should be made stricter. “The 80 percent of funding of all the political parties is through unknown sources. Unless the mess in the political funding is cleaned we can’t expect a corruption free government,” Pankaj Gupta, national secretary (Funding) of AAP told Millennium Post.