IT Department raids SP MLC Pushpraj Jain over tax evasion
The Income Tax Department conducted raids at the premises of Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator Pushpraj Jain in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj on Friday. Reportedly, searches were being carried out at around 50 locations in UP, Delhi, and Mumbai linked to the businessman who owns perfumery, petrol pumps, and cold storage operations. As per reports, raids were being conducted based on specific inputs about tax evasion.
- These raids come days after another businessman with a similar name, Piyush Jain, was raided by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and recovered Rs. 196 crore in cash and 23kg gold.
- At that time, it was speculated that the raid was intended for the SP legislator but missed the target due to mistaken identity.
- However, DGGI sources rubbished the mistaken identity theory.
The SP slammed the ruling BJP over the raids, accusing the latter of misusing the central agency ahead of Assembly polls in the state. "After the huge failure last time, this time BJP's ultimate ally, I-T [Department] has finally raided SP MLC Shri Pushpraj Jain and other perfume traders of Kannauj," it tweeted. "The people are watching everything, they will answer with their vote."
Following the previous raid at the premises of Kanpur-based perfume trader Piyush, both BJP and SP accused each other of backing the businessman. BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath, had alleged that Piyush is linked to the SP. However, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav denied the allegations, saying BJP got "its own businessman raided by mistake."
As the BJP and SP were trading charges on each other, Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted saying he wondered if the haul was a "comedy of errors." Earlier, SP leader Jain told NDTV that he has no links with Piyush and agreed with what Chidambaram said. "He may be right, the [previous] raids may have been planned for me," Pushpraj told NDTV.
Jain is a Member of the Legislative Council from the Samajwadi Party in UP. Notably, he had launched the "Samajwadi Ittra" or perfume back in November in the presence of the party's president Yadav. He is reportedly linked to around 18 firms and companies. He has also served as the director for 12 other companies and has been a partner in five more firms.