New Delhi: After the Income Tax Department seized over Rs 200 crore in cash from different premises linked to Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Dhiraj Sahu, the party said on Saturday that it is no way connected to the businesses of Sahu, and only he can explain as to how such large amount of cash was unearthed from places connected to him.
Income Tax officials seized unaccounted cash to the tune of over Rs 200 crore during searches at multiple premises in Odisha and Jharkhand over the past three days, which are linked to Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies Ltd, a country-liquor manufacturing and selling firm that operates in western Odisha.
According to I-T sources, the group is allegedly linked to Dhiraj Sahu, whose family members run the business. It’s a partnership firm of Boudh Distilleries Private Limited (BDPL) and a leading country-liquor manufacturing firm, sources said.
Facing ire of the BJP over the seizures, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Indian National Congress is in no way connected with the businesses of Dhiraj Sahu, MP.”
“Only he can explain, and should explain, how huge amounts of cash have been reportedly unearthed by the I-T authorities from his properties,” Ramesh added.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi took note of the seizures .
Posting a newspaper clipping with photos of currency notes recovered during the raids, the Prime Minister had tweeted on Friday: “Countrymen should look at the pile of these notes and then listen to the honest ‘speeches’ of their leaders… Whatever has been looted from the public, every penny will have to be returned, this is Modi’s guarantee.”
Meanwhile, Congress leader Manickam Tagore in a series of tweets on Saturday hit back at the Prime Minister, saying, “Why Prime Minister is doing this cheap politics by linking the business of the Sahu family with the Congress?
“Some facts about Dhiraj Sahu. Sahu family has been in the country liquor business for 40 years. Sahu’s relatives have a big liquor business in Odisha. Baldev Sahu and Group of Companies is originally from Lohardaga district of Jharkhand,” Tagore said.
“The company is a partnership firm of Boudh Distillery Private Limited (BDPL). This company also runs Baldev Sahu Infra Private Limited, Quality Bottlers Private Limited, and Kishore Prasad Vijay Prasad Beverage Private Limited.
“Dhiraj Sahu, brother of late Shiv Prasad Sahu, who was the Lok Sabha MP from Ranchi, has been a Rajya Sabha MP for three consecutive terms. He became a Rajya Sabha MP for the first time in June 2009, and in 2018 he again got elected as MP when he declared Rs 34 crore as his worth,” Tagore said.
Tagore also said that Sahu’s business group needs to explain about the cash seizure.
“Why drag Congress into it? Why this cheap politics,” Tagore asked.
Meanwhile, sources in the Congress said that the party has sought a report from its Jharkhand unit about the businesses of Sahu and how much large amount of cash was found from premises linked to him.