Kejriwal should immediately dismiss Gahlot and Jain: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday described the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi as “most corrupt”, and demanded dismissal of its cabinet minister Kailash Gahlot over alleged tax evasion of Rs1.20bn.
“The Kejriwal government is the most corrupt government in the history of Delhi,” Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said at a press conference here.
He said the failure of Kejriwal to take action in the case of corruption by his ministers Gahlot, Satyendar Jain and former minister Asim Ahmad indicates his involvement in corruption and “proves that the chief minister completely lacks morality”.
“The BJP demands that Kejriwal immediately dismiss corrupt ministers Gahlot and Jain,” he said.
“It has been learnt that tax evasion of Rs120 crore by Gahlot has come to light and in addition there was information of undeclared investment in shares in Dubai in addition to Benami property,” Tiwari said.
His remarks came after the Income Tax department officials yesterday claimed they have found documents that show the minister had evaded tax worth Rs1.2bn.
The I-T department carried out searches at over 16 residential and business premises of Gahlot and his family members on Wednesday and Thursday.
Gahlot holds the portfolios of transport, law, revenue, information technology and administrative reforms.
Tiwari said the network of Gahlot’s “unaccounted trade” is too wide. “But at close examination, we get to understand that the modus operandi of tax evasion is similar to what we saw in Jain’s case,” he said.
However, the legal team of Gahlot called the claims a “deliberate act of spreading misinformation to cover the abysmal failure” of the I-T department.
A statement released by Gahlot’s legal team said the IT officers searched Gahlot’s flat for around 60 hours and could recover only Rs1.1mn, “the amount which has been duly accounted for in his books”. “The Income Tax Department is red-faced and smarting from its politically motivated and ill-advised raid on Mr Kailash Gahlot,” it said.
Calling the search a “complete failure”, Gahlot’s legal team alleged that “fanciful rumours” are being circulated to divert the public attention in a desperate attempt to browbeat the elected representative.
“Some rumours about the recovery of Rs35 lakh of unaccounted money are being spread while the truth is that a sum of Rs11 lakh in cash was found at the premises of Kailash Gahlot. Another sum of Rs24 lakhs was admittedly related to the family of Mr Gahlot’s elder brother,” the statement said.
About the IT officers recovering unaccounted jewellery worth Rs20mn from Gahlot’s residence, the legal team said: “The truth is that jewellery belonging to wife of Kailash Gahlot (assessed at current market rate) of Rs28 lakh (duly accounted for) was found along with jewellery belonging to the mother-in-law of Gahlot (assessed at current market rate) of Rs41 lakh, duly accounted for”.
The AAP minister’s legal team also rubbished the allegations of benami properties worth Rs1bn being found during the raids, saying that “not a single document was recovered for any property”.
The team warned of legal action against the IT department for harassing “an elected representative”.