Bhopal/Indore: The wife of Praveen Kakkar, former OSD to Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, returned home after seven hours of interrogation by Income-Tax department at IDBI Bank here on Monday.
The raids on the establishments of Nath, which started in the wee hours of Sunday, continued on Monday as the political slugfest between the BJP and Congress intensified.
The Income Tax officials on Monday reached the garage of Nath’s close aide Ashwin Sharma, who lives in the Platinum Plaza, and started valuation of his luxury cars. Sharma, who also has his office in the same building, is said to be in possession of costly guns as well.
A huge amount of cash is speculated to have been recovered from his residence as close to half-a-dozen currency counting machines had landed in the building late on Sunday night.
Accompanying the I-T officers in the raid are CRPF men who were deployed at the building after the earlier face off with the MP police in Bhopal. The clash happened outside the residence of one of the aides of Nath, which were raided by the Income Tax department in connection with an alleged hawala (illegal transaction) case.
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh had on Sunday criticised the face-off between the CRPF and MP police, calling it a constitutional crisis. “Whatever transpired in the 100 days of Congress government is being coming to fore in raids,” Chouhan said.
The Raj Bhawan has reportedly sought a report from the state government on the face-off that took place between the CRPF men and MP police during the raids. Sources told News18 that the I-T sleuths would be verifying bank accounts and lockers of Sharma on Monday.
The office of chief electoral officer of MP claimed that they were kept in dark about the raids and got information about it at 8am while the raids had started as early as 3am on Sunday.
Unverified sources have claimed that the cash recovered from the establishments of Nath’s close aides could be over Rs 100 crore. The I-T officials have also raided places belonging to Nath’s close aide RK Miglani and nephew Ratul Puri.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax officials continued to quiz Pravin Kakkar, Nath's officer on special duty, and took his son Salil outside of their raided house in Indore on Monday morning, suggesting that they were carrying out searches at other locations of Kakkar. Salil was reportedly honoured by the I-T department last year for being the highest taxpayer in the city.
Nath had on Sunday termed the raids an attempt by those in power to browbeat those in the Opposition. Madhya Pradesh’s former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, too, alleged that the constitutional organisations are working as the sister concerns of the ruling BJP.
“Unnerved by the countdown of its government in Centre, the BJP is misusing the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department for maligning the image of Opposition,” alleged Singh.
Taking a dig at the Opposition over the raids conducted, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “The ‘Transfer Express’ has met with an accident due to the derailment caused by raids. No one is hurt but Rs 281 crore loss has been reported.”