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Congress Account Freezing Row: 'We Don't Have 115 Crores To Maintain In Current Accounts', Says Party

In view of the 'account freezing' incident, Congress issued a clarification where it is stated that the party is mandated to ensure that a sum of ₹ 115 Crores has to be maintained in their bank accounts. As per the directive from the tax authorities, the amount has to remain untouched.

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PTI
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In a major setback right ahead of the announcement of Lok Sabha election dates, the Income Tax department froze Congress' main bank accounts on Friday, including those of the Youth Congress. However, within hours the Income Tax Apellate Tribunal granted them relief by de-freezing the accounts until a final hearing scheduled next week.

In view of the incident, the Congress issued a clarification where it is stated that the party is mandated to ensure that a sum of ₹ 115 crore has to be maintained in their bank accounts. As per the directive from the tax authorities, the amount has to remain untouched.

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In its statement Congress maintained, "This means that ₹ 115 crore have been frozen. This ₹ 115 crore is much more than we have in our current accounts."

What did Maken say?

Earlier on Friday, party treasurer Ajay Maken described the act of freezing bank accounts is a 'disturbing blow to the democratic process'.

"All the accounts of the country's main opposition party have been frozen. The account of the Indian National Congress has been locked. These Congress Party accounts have not been frozen, our country's democracy has been frozen", Maken told reporters.

Maken claimed that earlier, in the election year of 2018-19, the party submitted its accounts 45 days late, but freezing the accounts is an extreme measure.

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"Democracy doesn't exist; this is like a one-rule party, and the principal opposition party has been subjugated. We seek justice from the judiciary, media, and the people," he further added.

Further emphasising the inconvenience caused by the Income Tax Department's drastic move, Maken said, "Right now, we have no money to spend. Electricity bills, staff salaries, our Nyay yatra, everything is impacted. Look at the timing; this is clear," he said. "We have only one PAN, and the four accounts are all linked.

Maken also said that the party has resorted to legal action in response to the freeze. As per media reports, Congress learned about the freezing of its accounts on Thursday.

According to Congress' lawyer Vivek Tankha, a total of four accounts have been affected. Banks have been instructed not to accept or honour Congress' cheques, with the frozen funds to be submitted to the Income Tax department.

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