The Income Tax officials on Friday raided the premises of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP C M Ramesh. The raids are being conducted at homes and offices owned by Ramesh in Hyderabad, Amaravathi, and Kadapa. At least 15 teams have been sent to multiple locations. On Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha MP had written to the IT Department asking why raids were being conducted on several people across the country.
Calling it an attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intimidate TDP, Ramesh said, “I have been targetted because I belong to the TDP. This is an attempt to intimidate everyone who is against Modi and BJP. Anyone who questions the Centre is being raided by IT,” adding that he had nothing to fear or hide.
Searches are also being conducted at Rithwik Projects, a company owned by Ramesh. Rithwik Projects Private Limited is an infrastructure development and management company which has built irrigation projects, highways, hydropower and solar power projects in Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand, J&K, and Andhra Pradesh.
Ramesh who is also official spokesperson of TDP was re-elected for a second term as Rajya Sabha member in April 2018. He is also a member of Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Ramesh had started an indefinite hunger strike demanding steel plant in Kadapa as it was promised in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. TDP MPs were supposed to meet Union Ministers today regarding this issue today.
TDP General Secretary and IT Minister Nara Lokesh said, ” it is a classic case of political harassment, they are targeting only TDP leaders. First Beeda Mastam Rao, next Sujana Choudary, and now CM Ramesh. People who are currently fighting for the rights of Andhrites are being targeted,”
“CM Ramesh has been questioning why GOI is silent on the Kadapa steel plant which was part of bifurcation bill, is getting targeted. The Centre has begun intimidation politics with IT raids on TDP leaders who are being unduly targetted for raising voice against the Centre for breaking every promise made during bifurcation. We will not be cowed down by this. It will only make our resolve stronger,” he added.
On Monday, Enforcement Directorate officials had conducted searches at two premises owned by TDP RS MP and former Union Minister Y S Chowdhary. IT officials have also conducted searches at the house and businesses owned by Nellore district TDP leader Beeda Mastan Rao on Tuesday.