INDORE/BHOPAL: A team of income-tax officers from Delhi raided the homes and offices of close aides of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath — Praveen Kakkar and RK Miglani — in a countrywide operation spanning 50 locations on Sunday.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the pre-dawn crackdown has triggered a political storm in MP even as tax officials maintained that the searches were conducted based on information of large cash movement. Sources in the department said close to Rs 11 crore was unearthed during the operations so far, and documents were recovered during searches on the premises in Delhi, MP and Goa. The tax department is yet to issue details of seizure from the searches.
BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya took a dig at Congress and said, “It is now clear that only thieves have complaints with chowkidars.” Congress’s Shobha Oza hit back and said, “It’s political vengeance, a futile attempt by BJP to tarnish the image of Congress on poll eve. It won’t succeed. It’s a sign that PM Narendra Modi is rattled by the Congress victories in three assembly elections.”
The raids started around 3 am when tax officers, escorted by CRPF jawans, arrived at the addresses in hired cars. Kakkar’s houses in Indore and Bhopal were searched. So were the homes of Miglani’s children in Delhi. Many locations in Chhindwara are also being searched. State police have no clue to the raids. Local I-T officials said the raids were handled by Delhi teams and they had little involvement in it.
Kakkar, who took voluntary retirement from police service a few years ago, was Nath’s officer on special duty (OSD) and was brought in by Miglani after Nath became CM. Miglani is said to be Nath’s Man Friday. Both Miglani and Kakkar resigned on February 22, just before Lok Sabha polls were announced.
The I-T team knocked on the doors of Kakkar’s home in Scheme Number 74, Shalimar Township, Indore, and two other places around 3 am, taking the occupants by surprise. CRPF personnel stood guard as the houses were searched. According to sources in the I-T department, raids were also carried out at a showroom in Vijay Nagar, and addresses at BCM Heights and Jalsa Garden.
Vijayvargiya tweeted, “Black money worth crores of rupees has been seized from the house of the personal secretary of CM Kamal Nath in an income-tax raid.”
मध्यप्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री @OfficeOfKNath के OSD के घर मिली ट्रांसफ़र उद्योग की काली कमाई से स्पष्ट हो गया है कि… https://t.co/xD9V2dlgpV— Chowkidar Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) 1554619802000
Pradesh Congress media in-charge Shoba Oza alleged that BJP was using central agencies to pressure not just Congress but all opposition parties ahead of elections. “Do CBI, I-T department and ED see only corruption among opposition leaders? Can’t they see corruption in the band of ‘chor chowkidars’? If these raids aren’t out of political vengeance, why doesn’t I-T raid Amit Shah, Jay Shah, Yeddyurappa, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh, whose names have cropped up in corruption scandals?” she asked.
Kakkar has a President’s medal for excellence in police work. In 2004, he quit the force and joined as OSD to former Union minister and Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria. In 2018, he was made OSD to Nath when he became CM.