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Time to rein in the tax authorities


Active member
Tax cheaters should be punished, irrespective of party affiliation. Otherwise, it is a witchhunt. When it is used by a ruling party to stymie the opposition, it is deplorable.

There are three rational explanations for the unprecedented wave of tax raids and action from investigation agencies against prominent leaders of the opposition parties.One, this is just taxmen and investigation agencies doing their job on the basis of tip-offs (from reliable sources and which seem substantive), and there is nothing untoward about them. Two, it is someone in the tax department or the agencies trying to curry favour with the establishment of the day in the hope that it will be voted back to power and remember their service gratefully. Three, it is the government of the day, acting against its political opponents in election season in the hope that it will disrupt the opponents’ plans.This last was evident in the most egregious instance case of them all, a raid on Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi’s house days before the Tamil Nadu polls – a raid in which nothing was found.

If it is the first (and only a charitable explanation would ascribe the wave of raids to that), then the timing is strange. As is the fact that all the action has been aimed at leaders of opposition parties. The Telugu Desam Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the AMMK, the Indian National Congress, apart from the DMK, have been targeted. No Bharatiya Janata Party leader, nor indeed, leaders of any of its allies, have been targeted by the Income Tax department, the Central Bureau of Investigation, or the Enforcement Directorate. No Indian parliamentary election has been preceded by such intense activity of raids and probes that have further dented the credibility of the tax department and the agencies — they have always been perceived as tools the government of the day uses against its opponents.

If it is the second — none of the agencies are beyond adventurism — the government needs to rein the tax department and the agencies in. The Election Commission (EC), which seems to have discovered its teeth and the wide-ranging powers at its command after censure from the Supreme Court, should also act. Its earlier directive to the taxman on raids didn’t elicit a positive response from the revenue department, but that was before the commission discovered its muscle. The EC could, and should, insist that such action happens only if it is entirely necessary, and assure itself that there is enough reason. This will ensure that legitimate raids and investigations — there have been some, even among the current crop — can continue. This is important, especially because it is no one’s argument that black money continue to be used in elections.

And if it is the third, then there’s nothing to be said about it, except that, in politics, what goes around usually comes around.

Personally, I do not support any party in the Indian election, I support India.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Wednesday came out in support of DMK leader Kanimozhi, whose residence was searched by central agencies and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to threaten parties opposed to him.

Kanimozhi is being harassed as DMK is opposed to BJP’s divisive politics in south India, she said.
Charging Modi with ruling India by the “decree of fear”, Banerjee said that the country has never seen such a prime minister who is feared by everyone “instead of being loved and respected”.
“It is a shame that BJP is using central agencies against opposition leaders and parties to harass them.

Yesterday the Income Tax(department) without any reason raided Kanimozhi’s house. Just because DMK and its leader M K Stalin are opposed to Narendra Modi and BJP, they (DMK leaders) are being unneccessarily harrassed,” Banerjee said at a rally here.

Ahead of the April 18 Lok Sabha polls, election officials assisted by those from the I-T department Tuesday held searches at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu from where she is contesting.

DMK president M K Stalin in a statement at Chennai said the raids were an outcome of “fear of a damning defeat,” for BJP’s candidate Tamilisai Soundararajan in Tuticorin.

“For us a leader is such a person who is loved and respected by people from various sections of the society. But for the first time since Independence, we have a leader like the prime minister who is ruling the country by a reign of fear,” Banerjee said.

She alleged that Modi is threatening everybody and everybody is afraid of him and added “It is a shame that a person who was baptized in politics through riots is leading the country”.

Remember, this is a colonial British constitution . So it was designed to wield total power. So the ruling party has total power and control over all institutions.

Hence the constitution has to be changed to ensure checks and balances for these institutions to ensure they don't take sides like it is happening today !!

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