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Massive political donation crackdown; IT Dept raids over 50 locations

The Income Tax Department raided over 50 locations across the country on Wednesday as part of a massive crackdown on political donations. Searches are being conducted in a number of cities, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Gurugram, and Jaipur. According to sources, this action was taken based on reliable intelligence inputs. The I-T department is investigating ‘bogus’ donations to obscure political parties. The majority of these donations were allegedly received in cash, which was then used to launder money.

The central agency is investigating several corporate entities. According to Republic TV, the I-T department is attempting to identify those responsible for the bogus donation, their intent, and whether it is an attempt at tax evasion. Certain entities are also suspected of attempting to convert their black money into white money. The identities of the political parties in question are currently unknown. Republic TV reported that the central agency raided the Lucknow residence of Samajwadi Krantikari Party president Gopal Rai.

Details of the raids
The I-T department is specifically targeting registered unregistered political parties, their linked entities, operators, and others. The Election Commission of India recently announced that it was taking action against over 2,100 registered unrecognised political parties for breaking rules and election laws, including those pertaining to filing monetary contributions and failing to update their address and office bearer names. It was also noted that some of these parties were engaging in serious financial impropriety.

According to reports, the central agency’s crackdown was prompted by the EC, which removed 87 entities from its list of registered unrecognised political parties after physical verification revealed they did not exist. Meanwhile, sources say the I-T department is raiding about 200 locations across Gujarat. It is believed that those being sought are associated with or funding the Aam Aadmi Party. The AAP is attempting to make inroads in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, which have traditionally seen a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress.

Center’s anti-corruption campaign
During his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Modi identified corruption and nepotism as major challenges confronting India and sought the people’s support to intensify the government’s fight against these evils. He stated, ‘People who looted banks in previous governments and fled have had their properties seized, and efforts are being made to bring them back. We are attempting to recover from the looters of the country. The country is being devoured by corruption like termites. I’m fighting it, but I need the support of the country’s 130 crore people to win this war’.


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