Hours after the Income Tax department conducted raids at the Chennai residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Rammohan Rao, West Bengal Chief Minsiter Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on Centre and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for the “vindictive, unethical, technically improper action”.
In a series of tweets, Banerjee said, “Earlier the Principal Secretary of (Delhi CM) Arvind Kejriwal was raided and harassed. Now I read Chief Secretary TN also raided. Why this vindictive, unethical, technically improper action? Is it only to disturb the federal structure?” Further targeting BJP chief Amit Shah, she asked , “Why don’t they raid Amit Shah and others who are collecting money?”
It is being alleged that Rao had close links with Shekar Reddy, an industrialist and AIADMK functionary whose businesses and residences were raided by the IT department earlier this month. At the end of a three-day raid, IT sleuths had recovered Rs 154 crore, including Rs 34 crore currency in new Rs 2,000 denomination notes and over 167 kg of gold in one of the biggest seizures post demonetisation.
Strongly condemning the raids by I-T, she said that such measures should have taken place following proper procedures after taking the state government into confidence. “While corruption needs to be condemned strongly, raid on TN Chief Sec by Central agencies devalues institution of head of civil service,” the West Bengal CM tweeted, adding that, “The proper procedure should have been to take the State leadership into confidence and removing him from the post prior to any preemptive action, based on information.”