TDP leader Ramesh raided, accuses Centre of ‘political vendetta’
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TDP leader Ramesh raided, accuses Centre of ‘political vendetta’

CM Ramesh, a TDP lawmaker, is also the promoter of Rithwik Projects. Offices of Ramesh’s partners were also being raided by the income tax department.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2018 11:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
TDP,Andhra,CM Ramesh
TDP lawmaker CM Ramesh(CM Ramesh/Twitter)

Income Tax authorities on Friday searched the offices and houses of Telugu Desam Party’s Rajya Sabha member C M Ramesh in Hyderabad and also in Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh on suspicion of large scale tax evasion, prompting the party to accuse the Centre of ‘political vendetta’.

According to sources close to his family and the TDP, the search operations began simultaneously at around 9 am on multiple offices of Ramesh’s industrial group – Ritwik Projects - in upscale Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, besides his residences at Proddatur town and Kadapa town. Sixty officials of income tax department officials are said to have been involved in the search operations.

Income tax authorities also raided the residence of his brother C M Rajesh, a partner in the MP’s industrial group. Ramesh, a close aide of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, is currently in New Delhi.

Ramesh told reporters that the IT raids were part of a conspiracy of the Narendra Modi government to create a panic atmosphere in the state because of the TDP had exited the NDA.

“I am a regular income tax payee. So, there is no need for me to be threatened by the IT raids. The Centre is trying to trouble me because I took up 20 days fast demanding steel factory for Kadapa and has been consistently raising the issue,” he said.

“(This is) a clear-cut case of political vendetta... Centre has been targeting our leaders from last 15 days. The same thing happened in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and now Andhra Pradesh... whoever is opposing them is being targeted,” ANI quoted said Ramesh as saying.

Ritwik Projects is one of the most prominent industrial and infrastructure company with a turnover of over Rs 1300 crore, involved in several hydro-electric and irrigation projects in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The income tax department carried out similar search operations in the offices associated with former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdary who owns Sujana Group of Industries and also BMR group of industries owned by Beeda Mastan Rao, a prominent TDP leader in Nellore.

TDP sources said Ramesh, who is also a Public Accounts Committee member, had recently issued notices to the IT department to furnish details about its raids in Andhra Pradesh.

TDP general secretary and Andhra Pradesh Information Technology minister Nara Lokesh tweeted that the Centre was unduly targeting the TDP leaders for raising their voice against the injustice meted out to the state by breaking every promise it had made during the bifurcation.

“We will not be cowed down by this. It will make our resolve only stronger,” he tweeted.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 10:53 IST