Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan today rejected some opposition leaders' charge that the Income Tax department was being used to target them, saying raids have been carried out against even companies owned by BJP leaders. Against the backdrop of raids against jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasiakala and her relatives, some opposition parties in Tamil Nadu alleged that the I-T department was being used by the Centre to target them. In reply to a question on the allegation, Radhakrishnan said, "The income tax department is an autonomous body. We cannot question them if they take any action against any person.
I-T raids are taking place in other states. There is no truth in the allegation that the Income Tax department is biased." In fact, income tax raids had been conducted in companies owned by BJP members in other states, the minister of state for road transport, highways and shipping told reporters here. I-T officials conducted raids at over 180 premises linked to Sasikala and her relatives in various cities in the past three days over suspected tax evasion. Sasikala's nephew and deposed AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran has alleged a conspiracy behind the raids to oust him and his aunt from politics. On the GST rate cuts, he said it would benefit the people, especially the poor and traders, and industrialists would realise the advantage of the new tax regime shortly. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with ailing DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, Radhakrishnan said it has "scared some parasites" in the DMK-led alliance, although it was a courtesy call.