Hours After I-T Raid in MP, Election Panel Directs Agencies to Conduct 'Neutral' Pre-poll Searches
The letter comes hours after a team of over 15 income tax officials raided the homes of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath's former private secretary Praveen Kakkar in Indore.
New Delhi: Hours after I-T raids at properties of Kamal Nath's aides, the Election Commission instructed various agencies to ensure that their pre-poll raids remain politically neutral. The poll body asked enforcement agencies to inform it about any any such exercise before undertaking it.
"The Election Commission strongly advises that all enforcement actions during the election period, even when conducted ruthlessly with a view to curb the blatant electoral malpractice (of using money power to influence voter behaviour), be absolutely neutral, impartial and non-discriminatory. Further, in case of suspected use of such illicit money for electoral purposes, the Chief Electoral Officer should be kept suitably informed while the Model Code of Conduct is in force," a letter issued by the EC to investigation agencies read.
The letter comes hours after a team of over 15 income tax officials raided the homes of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath's former private secretary Praveen Kakkar in Indore and former advisor Rajendra Kumar Miglani in Delhi. Sources said that Rs 9 crore was recovered from their residences.
Since the Model Code Conduct came into force on March 10, the I-T Department has carried out several raids on political leaders and their associates which the opposition has dubbed a misuse of central agencies during poll season.
Last month, senior DMK leader Duraimurugan's residence in Tamil Nadu's Vellore was raided. The searches in Tamil Nadu came a day after the residences of Karnataka minor irrigation minister CS Puttaraju and his nephew were raided.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi's husband, Robert Vadra, is also facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money-laundering case.
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