Shukla served notice by income tax department
Senior Congress leader and three-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shyama Charan Shukla Wednesday said he had been asked by the income tax department to pay up Rs.2 million in connection with a financial scam.
Shukla said the notice claimed he had to deposit the money as he was allegedly one of the major beneficiaries of a hawala or illegal money laundering scam that rocked the country during the tenure of former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.
Addressing a news conference here, Shukla, brother of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vidya Charan Shukla, said income tax sleuths had been harassing him for the past 15 days.
"I am in no way connected with the scam, my name did not figure in the dairy of S.K. Jain, the kingpin of the scam, but the sleuths have asked me to cough up the money. I am shocked," he said.
"The tax department sleuths have been using threatening language," he said, alleging this was being done at the instance of the BJP-led central government.
Shukla is pitted against the BJP's minister of state for forest and environment Ramesh Bais in Raipur parliamentary constituency in the coming general election.
Shukla said he had sent letters last year to then finance minister Yashwant Sinha and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani seeking action against certain officials for "dragging" his name into the hawala scam.
"I am surprised that the notice was served on me at a time when only 19 days are left for the general election in Chhattisgarh," he remarked.