New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia on Tuesday accused the Centre of misusing the Income Tax Department to exact revenge on his Aam Aadmi Party due to its appeal for a united battle against the BJP in the Gujarat assembly elections.
Pointing out that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asked the Gujarat voters to vote for any party they thought could defeat the ruling BJP, Sisodia said his party received the I-T notice of Rs 30.67 crore as a result of “vindictive action”.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party is shaken by the AAP’s call for a united battle against it in the Gujarat polls. They feel how can any party talk about their defeat,” the Deputy Chief Minister told the media here.
Sisodia dismissed media reports that the AAP was summoned 34 times by the Income Tax Department but failed to show up.
“We have appeared before the department officials every time we were called.”
Sisodia challenged the BJP and the Congress and other parties to manage fund collection with the “same transparency and accountability with which the AAP does it”.
Also Read: Income Tax sends Rs 30 crore tax notice to Aam Aadmi Party
“We have been keeping and maintaining books of accounts and other documents of each and every contribution reaching us through banking,” he said, adding that “but the (central) government is saying the funds received from the common people, who have high hopes of good governance from us, are illegal and taxable”.
The Congress and the BJP on Monday asked the AAP to come clear on the tax notice that said the AAP had not disclosed an income of Rs 13.16 crore and that its total taxable income was Rs 68.44 crore for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
These parties alleged that the AAP had failed to live up to its self-proclaimed standards of transparency and probity in public life.
Sisodia cited the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report on the BJP which said the ruling party at the Centre got Rs 461 crore as donations from “unknown sources” in 2015-16, accounting for nearly 81 per cent of its total income, and the figure for the Congress was 71 per cent or Rs 186 crore.
“Yet, we are being targeted.”
“Since the beginning of AAP rule in Delhi, we have been targeted through various agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Election Commission, Delhi Police, and now the Income Tax Department,” he said.
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