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Facing heat: Trio close to Kamal Nath under I-T scannerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/facing-heat-trio-close-to-kamal-nath-under-i-t-scanner-5667807/

Facing heat: Trio close to Kamal Nath under I-T scanner

Son of a government doctor, an officer on special duty to MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath and a former financial controller with ITC Limited - how the three men are planning to approach the court against I-T Department raids at their premises. 

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the I-T raids are an attempt to shift focus from issues. (File photo)

Praveen Kakkar, the officer on special duty (OSD) to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who has moved the court against Income Tax Department raids on his premises in Indore and Bhopal – a step he says is going to land him in further trouble —- pays even his milkman and domestic help in cheque.

Kakkar, now 61, was a police inspector in 2004 when he took voluntary retirement and became OSD to Union minister Kantilal Bhuria. He spent nearly eight years in Delhi as OSD to Bhuria, now the Lok Sabha MP from Ratlam-Jhabua constituency.

In the last 15 years, Kakkar’s clout has grown even under successive BJP-led governments – he owns a huge wedding garden in Indore that has more than 70 rooms, and his 32-year-old son owns an outsourcing company in partnership with three others. A gold medalist in MA (Economics) from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, he joined the police in 1981.

Kakkar said, “I haven’t made my money in two days. I have been filing my I-T returns since 1992 – they (I-T sleuths) must have seen my returns. They could not find anything (illegal), even though they entered my home by breaking the door at 3.30 am. I have been paying milkman and maid their dues by cheque for many years – many have not been able to digest my quick rise.”

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A winner of President’s medal, Kakkar was accused of carrying out a fake encounter of Kamal Sisodiya, who was into liquor business, in 2003 when he was with MP Police’s special task force – a charge Kakkar denies.

Kakkar said that as OSD to Nath, his job is to oversee distribution of CM Sahayata Fund.

-In his late 30s, Ashwin Sharma, son of a government doctor, is known for his liaison skills. Irrespective of the party in power, he has enjoyed immense clout with access to senior bureaucrats and police officers. When he was being led off by IT sleuths, he told the media, “I am a BJP man.’’

I-T officials said they found a fleet of expensive cars parked in the compound of Platinum Plaza, a multi-storey building where he lives. While one car is registered in Sharma’s name, another is registered in the name of a company. The address on which a third vehicle is registered appears to be fictitious. Sharma also reportedly owns three vintage cars.

An Indore-based expert of classic and vintage cars, who saw photographs of Sharma’s cars in newspapers, said they are not worth much.

Sharma runs an NGO, Aarogya Jan kalian Sanstha, whose office is located in the commercial wing of the same building. Given his exponential rise over the last decade, even Sharma’s friends and neighbours wondered about his source of income.

-R K Miglani was in Chhindwara when the I-T raid was conducted at his Delhi home. The 65-year-old has been a close aide of Kamal Nath for nearly four decades. He was financial controller and export manager with ITC Limited when he joined the Congress leader.

“I did not know who he (Nath) was and whether he was close to Sanjay Gandhi when I started working for him,” Miglani said. The son of a Defence Ministry officer, Miglani studied in Delhi. He said he does anything and everything, coordinating whole of Delhi, Chhindwara and Madhya Pradesh’’ for Nath. He was made OSD in December 2018 but resigned a couple of months later to concentrate on the CM’s campaign in Chhindwara. “I am the softest target. They thought they will find something – paper or something. I don’t use computer or laptop,” Miglani said.

Kamal Nath on searches

“For the last three days an attempt has been made to pressure Kamal Nath. Nobody has been able to coerce me in my political career. It’s an attempt to shift focus from issues. The BJP connection of those from whose house cash was found has come to the fore. All these are tactics of central agencies. I am not bothered — we are not among those who get scared. We are saying even today: give account of your actions and promises over the last five years, answer on issues of development.” (ENS)

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