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IT raids an attempt to terrorise Congress MLAs, says Bharatsinh Solanki

04 August, 2017, 00:14 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Congress leaders at the Election Commission office after filing a complaint against BJP. Pic  PTI

Meanwhile, the Election Commission had refused to review its decision on NOTA saying that it was not a "new direction" and was introduced in 2014.

The Congress Party had on Wednesday moved the apex court against the Election Commission challenging the introduction of NOTA option in the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat. Congress has raised the issue of Income Tax raids in both the houses of Parliament today. His room in the resort was searched and he was taken for questioning at his home.

The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of using investigative agencies to intimidate the opposition ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections after the Income Tax department searched the residences of a Karnataka minister in Delhi and Bengaluru.

The BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and a rebel Congress legislator who will challenge Patel. Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Rajya Sabha elections should be held without fear in a free and fair manner but this is not happening in the Gujarat election".

Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said the raid was conducted after proper probe conducted by the I-T department and on the basis of the evidences received against him.

The letter further adds that "there is no secrecy" for voting in Rajya Sabha elections, therefore "the objective of NOTA is of not much use in such election".

"Immediately thereafter, biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha were held in 16 states".

The raid happened at a time when Shivakumar was overseeing the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort near Bengaluru. Though a party whip has been issued directing MLAs to vote for Ahmed Patel, there could be legislators who will look to evade disqualification by voting NOTA, claiming it was a mistake and then demanding that their vote be invalidated.

However, the I-T department stated that the raids were conducted against one individual and the presence of the Gujarat MLAs was unforeseen. "Let's not forget, it's Congress government in Karnataka".

Congress leader Anand Sharma said it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state.

Though Bhartruhari Mahtab, the parliamentary party leader of the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha said that he did "not think there is even a remote possibility of BJP succeeding in engineering defection in our party", his party colleague did not share his confidence.

The party has apprehensions over Patel's election prospects if more MLAs defect.



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