In an ongoing investigation, the Income Tax raids targeting an Odisha-based distillery company linked to Congress MP Dheeraj Sahu have entered their sixth day, revealing a staggering cash seizure of Rs 351 crore. The raids, initiated on December 6, are focused on Boudh Distillery Private Limited, its promoters, and others, with allegations of tax evasion and undisclosed transactions.
The Income Tax officials have completed the counting of currency from 176 bags and are set to deposit the seized cash at the State Bank of India (SBI) main branch in Balangir, Odisha. Despite the ongoing investigations, the SBI branch will continue its regular public dealings, as assured by SBI Regional Manager Bhagat Behera.
The authorities suspect that the substantial cash stash is “unaccounted” money earned through the cash sales of country liquor by the business group, distributors, and other related entities. This marks the highest-ever cash seizure by an agency in the country targeting a single group and its affiliates, according to sources.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intensified its criticism of the Congress and other opposition parties. Union Home Minister Amit Shah questioned the silence of INDIA bloc leaders, expressing understanding for the Congress’s position but questioning the similar stance of parties like TMC, DMK, JD(U), and RJD.
The Congress has distanced itself from MP Dheeraj Sahu, asserting that the party is not associated with the ongoing raids. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused the Centre of selectively targeting the Congress and questioned the absence of searches against BJP leaders.
On the matter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the public that the recovered funds would be returned. In a media post, he showcased the stack of cash seized by the Income Tax department, emphasizing the commitment to returning every penny looted from the public. The ongoing investigation continues to unravel the extent of the alleged financial irregularities linked to the Odisha-based distillery company and its connection to the Congress MP.