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  • Congress Claims Party’s Bank Accounts Frozen; IT Demands ₹ 210 Crore Tax Before Polls

    Published on February 16, 2024

    Our Political Correspondent

    New Delhi: Congress party today claimed that its bank accounts have been abruptly frozen by the income tax depart for “unknown reasons”. Addressing the media at the Party headquarters Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken described the move as a “disturbing blow to the democratic process”. According to him “Right now, we have no money to spend. Electricity bills, staff salaries, our Nyay yatra, everything is impacted. Look at the timing, this is clear,” he said. “We have only one PAN, and the four accounts are all linked.”

     Maken said the party’s bank accounts, including those of the Youth Congress, have been frozen by the Income Tax department, weeks ahead of the announcement of dates for the general elections, with the intention of disarming the party financially and politically in the ensuing general election. “This action (freezing of bank accounts) is a direct hit to the democracy. It is clear, the saffron party does not want any opposition party to exist. They are into crushing the democracy.” Maken   emphasised that the move from IT was a “disturbing blow to the democratic process”.

     The freeze reportedly stems from a tax demand of ₹ 210 crore raised by the Income Tax department, a move that the Congress claims is politically motivated and strategically timed to disrupt the party’s election preparations.

    The congress leader further said “Democracy doesn’t exist; this is like a one-rule party, and the principal opposition party has been subjugated. We seek justice from the judiciary, media, and the people.”

    The Congress leader said that the party has taken legal action in response to the freeze, with the matter currently before the income tax appellate tribunal. In a press conference, Mr Maken explained that they chose not to disclose the information earlier as the hearing is pending.

    The party learned about the freezing of its accounts yesterday, and the party’s lawyer Vivek Tankha said that a total of four accounts have been affected. Banks have been instructed not to accept or honour Congress’ cheques, with the frozen funds to be submitted to the Income Tax department.

    Maken claimed that in the election year of 2018-19, the party submitted its accounts 45 days late, but freezing the accounts is an extreme measure. He argued that there have been cases and precedents where such actions were not taken.

    “We have given the names of all MLAs and MPs who have contributed, based on the Manmohan Singh committee report,” Mr Maken stated.

    The Congress leader claimed that timing of the freeze, coming just ahead of the crucial general elections, raises suspicions about the motives behind the Income Tax department’s actions.

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