Congress Tax Row: Two More Notices Received, Claims Party; Protest Staged In Kerala Against IT Notice

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh | Photo: PTI

A day after Congress received a tax notice of whopping rupees 1,800 crores from the Income Tax Department ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the party on Saturday claimed it received two more notices from them last night. The notice on Friday was served for the assessment years 2017-18 and 2020-21, and included penalty and interest.

What did Jairam Ramesh say?

According to Congress' General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, "Two more notices were sent to us last night." While addressing the press on Saturday, Ramesh also reiterated that Congress was a target of "tax terrorism".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to paralyse the Opposition parties," he alleged.

Furtherore, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar also claimed he got a notice from the Income Tax Department.

"I got a notice last night from the Income Tax Department. I was shocked. The matter was already closed. They (BJP) are scared of the Congress and INDIA bloc," he said.

Congress gets Rs 1,800 crore tax notice

On March 29, the Congress spoke about receiving fresh notices from the Income Tax Department, asking it to pay around Rs 1,823 crore. The IT Department's notice reportedly came hours after the Delhi High Court rejected the party's pleas against tax reassessment proceedings.

Congress to hold 'Loktantra Bachao Rally' on March 31

In light of the recent developments including the tax notices and freezing of the party's bank accounts right ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Congress on Saturday announced the INDIA opposition bloc's "Loktantra Bachao Rally" will be held at the Ramlila Maidan.

The opposition party also asserted that a "strong message" would be sent out from the rally on Sunday to Lok Kalyan Marg (where the prime minister's residence is located) that the BJP-led government's "time is up".

Addressing a press conference on the rally, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi will address the rally, among other senior leaders.

Kerala Congress stages protest against tax notice

Protesting against the tax notices issued to the party, a large number of Congress leaders and workers carried out a sit-in protest on Saturday in Kerala's capital while alleging that the ruling BJP is trying to "choke" it financially ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The protest was organised in front of the Income Tax Department office here by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

Inaugurating the sit-in protest, KPCC acting President M M Hassan launched a scathing attack against the BJP government at the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The objective of the BJP is to choke the Congress party financially and keep it completely out of election-related activities," he alleged.

Besides the Congress, several other opposition political parties had also been served with the I-T notices by the BJP government, he pointed out.