Hyderabad: Schools and colleges owned by an Andhra minister were raided by income tax officials on Friday, said reports on Friday. NDTV said Ponguru Narayana, municipal administration and urban development minister in the Chandrababu Naidu government, runs the Narayana Group that is said to have a network of 200 schools, 400 junior colleges and 25 professional colleges. Also Read - Law is Equal For All. Search my House if I Have Done Anything Wrong: Modi

While the minister has denied the raids, employees at some of his institutes in Vijayawada told the portal that income tax officials have combed the premises. Local media hinted at a concerted effort at nailing top leaders of Telugu Desam Party. It reported that raids were conducted on firms of senior TDP leader and member of Amaravati Capital Development Advisory Committee Beeda Madthan Rao on Thursday. Also Read - Cases Registered Against 150 AMMK Members For Thwarting I-T Raids

In neighbouring Tamil Nadu, raids were conducted on the premises of SPK and Company, a partnership firm engaged in roads and highways construction on contract from the government, during which over Rs 165 crore cash and 101 kgs of gold had been seized. Also Read - Congress, BJP go up Against One Another Over Corruption in Madhya Pradesh

DMK and other Opposition parties had used the I-T raids to target the AIADMK government alleging that it ‘exposed’ corruption in the award of tenders and a nexus between the highway contractor and those linked to the party. Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam termed as “inappropriate” allegations seeking to link the ruling AIADMK and the highway contractor.

It was wrong to link a political party with the raids since the Income Tax raids were conducted based on tax evasion. Besides, contractors were carrying out their jobs, whichever party was ruling, he told reporters. “Raids are being carried out with regard to tax evasion and linking a political party with it is inappropriate,” Paneerselvam said.