The Income Tax raids on the houses and offices of Telugu Desam Party Rajya Sabha member C M Ramesh on Friday morning led to a lot of panic in the party.
Though the party leaders have been anticipating such raids on prominent TDP leaders, the raids on Ramesh have certainly created a lot of commotion as he is believed to be the front man of chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu.
His company Ritwik Projects has been executing several irrigation and infrastructure projects in AP, including Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi.
TDP sources say the IT raids are believed to be part of a series of raids conducted on the big businessmen and industrialists close to the TDP.
In the last 10 days, IT raids were conducted on the offices associated with former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdary who owns Sujana Group of Industries and also BMR group of industries owned by Beeda Mastan Rao, a prominent TDP leader in Nellore.
Naturally, Ramesh cried foul over the IT raids. He told a couple of vernacular channels in New Delhi that the IT raids were obviously a part of the larger conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Narendra Modi to intimidate the TDP, which had come out of the NDA in protest against the injustice done to the state.
“The Centre is trying to harass me for consistently raising the demand for Kadapa steel factor for which I took up 20 days fasting. In any case, I have nothing to worry as I have been a sincere and regular tax payer to the IT department,” he said.
TDP sources said Ramesh, who is also a Public Accounts Committee member, had recently issued notices to the IT department to furnish details about IT raids in Andhra Pradesh.
TDP general secretary and Andhra Pradesh Information Technology minister Nara Lokesh tweeted that the Centre was unduly targeting the TDP leaders for raising their voice against the injustice meted out to the state by breaking every promise it had made during the bifurcation.
“We will not be cowed down by this. It will make our resolve only stronger,” he tweeted.