Ahead of the crucial UP Assembly elections, the home of Rajeev Rai, a key aide of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is the spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party (SP), was raided by income tax officials this morning (December 18). Another SP leader, who hails from the Yadav bastion, Mainpuri, also had to face an IT raid.
Akhilesh Yadav is being viewed as BJP’s main rival in the upcoming elections, after political analysts have predicted that SP’s chances are are getting stronger by the day. Commenting on the raids on SP leaders, the SP chief slammed the BJP for using central agencies to intimidate the Opposition.
According to Yadav, the BJP now stands exposed before the people, who were firmly on the side of the Opposition. And, the more the BJP’s fear of defeat increases, he expected more number of raids on the Opposition to happen. But he maintained that the SP’s rath yatra and every other programme will continue as planned despite the IT raids.
According to newspaper reports, an IT department team from Varanasi landed at Rai’s home this morning in eastern UP’s Mau district. Rai, who was the Lok Sabha candidate from the Ghosi constituency in 2014, told reporters outside his residence that he owns a group that runs many educational institutions in Karnataka and that he has no criminal record. Neither has he stored black money.
The SP leader is the party’s national secretary and spokesperson and is credited by the party as being the man behind the success of forming the first SP government in UP in 2012. He is officially the spokesperson liaising with the media for the party.
According to Rai, the government doesn’t like the fact that he helps people. The SP leader further told reporters that the government has made it a practice of making a video or registering an FIR forcing people to fight a case unnecessarily.
Manoj Yadav, another aide of Akhilesh Yadav has been raided in Mainpuri, which is a stronghold of the Yadav family. Manoj Yadav is the promoter of a group of companies called the RCL group.
The raids have come in the wake of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav attacking the BJP over the projects that have been recently launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UP. According to the former CM, these projects were started by him during his tenure and that the BJP was claiming it as their own to gain favour with voters. The BJP meanwhile said he was taking credit for the projects with an eye on the polls.