The AAP said on Friday that the Income Tax department was harassing it and also planning to raid it ahead of the Goa and Punjab assembly elections on February 4.
Aam Aadmi Party spokesman and treasurer Raghav Chadha told the media here that the Income Tax department was under “tremendous pressure” from the Prime Minister’s Office to cook up some case against the AAP. From two or three income tax notices a month, the AAP was now receiving one or two notices every day and the aim was also to bog down AAP leaders so that they don’t campaign in the two states.
“It shows the PMO’s desperation,” Chadha said. “We feel the AAP treasurer’s and the former treasure’s residences will be raided ahead of February 4. The AAP office can also be raided.”
He accused the government of harassment and said the aim was to somehow dent the AAP’s appeal in Punjab and Goa. Chadha, a chartered accountant by profession, said he was convinced that there was nothing wrong with the AAP’s funding and account keeping but the Income Tax department was desperate. He said 92 per cent of all donations to AAP came into its bank accounts and even the remaining eight per cent of cash donation was deposited in the banks.
“We maintain records of 100 per cent of our donations. We maintain details of even those who donate five rupees. We also keep replying to the Income Tax notices. But we have some questions to ask. Do Income Tax officers ever question the treasurers of the BJP and Congress which get 75 per cent of all donations in cash? Do the officers visit the residences of their treasures and their auditors?”
Chadha said some Income Tax notices had also sought information going back to 2010 while the AAP was formed only in 2012.
“The Income Tax department has been told to cook up something that can be given to select TV channels who will play it up ahead of the Punjab and Goa elections. The same tactics were deployed before the Delhi elections in 2013 and 2015. But nothing worked.”
“We would also like to know how many Income Tax notices the BJP and Congress have got since the (Narendra) Modi government came to power in 2014?”