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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightIT hamstrings Cong’s...

IT hamstrings Cong’s finances with Rs 523.87cr demand after taking Rs 135cr

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IT hamstrings Cong’s finances with Rs 523.87cr demand after taking Rs 135cr
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The Income Tax department has demanded a hefty amount of 523.87 crore from the Congress Party, purportedly linked to 'unaccounted transactions' spanning the period from 2014 to 2021, while the party is reeling under cash strain ahead of the Lok Sabha election, which is just weeks away.

This impending demand follows closely on the heels of the recent setback suffered by the Congress, wherein the Income Tax Department withdrew a substantial sum of Rs 135 crore from the party's bank accounts for prior dues, according to The Indian Express.

The genesis of the current situation traces back to the I-T raids conducted before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, during which the alleged unaccounted transactions amounting to over half a billion rupees came to light.

V K Tankha, a senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member expressed grave concerns over the impending financial blow, anticipating that a substantial penalty and interest would exacerbate the already staggering demand. Tankha lamented the timing of these actions, labelling them as debilitating manoeuvres aimed at crippling the party's electoral prospects.

The Congress party's legal battles against the Income Tax Department have yielded little respite. Despite losing an appeal before the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) and a subsequent challenge in the Delhi High Court, the party remains embroiled in a protracted legal struggle. The High Court's dismissal of the party's plea, citing the tardiness of its approach, further complicates the party's predicament.

The roots of this financial conundrum extend beyond mere electoral implications. Revelations stemming from the IT raids shed light on alleged pay-offs to the Congress party, implicating prominent figures within its ranks. The Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) Group emerged as a central figure, with evidence suggesting substantial contributions to the Congress party, as reflected in the electoral bond data.

As the Congress grapples with mounting legal challenges and financial constraints, the spectre of vendetta politics looms large. Rajya Sabha member Digvijay Singh decried the timing of the tax demands as a calculated move to undermine the party's electoral campaign. Singh underscored the debilitating impact of these actions, citing the party's inability to finance essential campaign activities, including advertisements, candidate support, and logistical arrangements for party leaders.

Allegations of witch-hunt and selective targeting cast a shadow over the autonomy of political processes, raising concerns about the erosion of democratic norms.

As the clock ticks down to the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress finds itself navigating treacherous terrain, grappling with legal entanglements and financial constraints that threaten to overshadow its electoral aspirations.

Amidst allegations of vendetta politics and institutional overreach, the party faces an uphill battle to salvage its electoral prospects and uphold the principles of democratic governance.

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TAGS:Income TaxITCongress PartyLok Sabha Elections 2024
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