New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has clarified that the search by Income-Tax personnel in a house in Thoothukudi where DMK Lok Sabha candidate Kanimozhi is staying “cannot be termed as an income tax raid”. The commission chose to call it a “discovery inspection” instead. (Also Read: Raid Reveals Nothing, Kanimozhi Says BJP Can’t Stop Her) Also Read - Hathras Protests: DMK Leader Kanimozhi Holds Candelight Vigil in Chennai, Detained
In the inspection, the I-T personnel were accompanied by Tamil Nadu election flying squads. The EC said the search operation was conducted under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act. “We want to clarify that income tax officials had gone there under Section 131 (IT Act) summons. This is not an income tax raid. It was kind of a discovery inspection,” an EC official said. Also Read - Bihar Elections 2020: We Are Confident That NDA Will Get Majority, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Section 131 of the IT Act empowers I-T officials to conduct inquiries where it can summon people or witnesses and examine them under oath, compel the production of books of account and documents, and issue commissions, a leading daily explained. Also Read - NEET 2020: Ban Medical Entrance Test, Save Tamil Nadu Students, Says DMK's Stalin
The EC also said that a special expenditure observer had been asked to submit a report in the matter.
Meanwhile, the search did not unearth anything and the team return empty-handed because the “intelligence input” of large amounts of cash stored in the house were incorrect.
While she had cooperated, DMK candidate Kanimozhi alleged that she was targeted because she was from Opposition alliance. However, she expressed confidence that she would win despite all attempts to thwart her.
She said, “Over the last five years, every government agency has been exploited. They have become a part of BJP. CBI, ED, RBI, IT, EC all have been compromised. Only opposition leaders have been targeted repeatedly.”
DMK workers had launched the protest right outside the house when the raids were on. DMK chief M K Stalin also slammed the Centre and accused it of “murdering democracy”.
Meanwhile, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee also came out in support of Kanimozhi and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to threaten the Opposition parties. She claimed that Kanimozhi was harassed as DMK was opposed to BJP’s divisive politics in south India.