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I-T Raids Premises ‘Linked’ to Maha Dy CM Ajit Pawar’s Relatives

The Income Tax department on Tuesday carried out raids and search operations at premises linked to the relatives of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

According to people in the know, a company linked to Pawar’s son Parth and residences of his sisters in Pune and Kolhapur were among the premises searched.

Other than the relatives, a Mumbai-based real estate company and two sugar cooperative factories were also searched. The people said the raids would likely continue for a few more days.

Premises linked to several ministers in Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government and leaders including Ashok Chaavan and Anil Deshmukh had been recently searched by the department over the allegations of tax evasion.

“These searches are based on reliable information. The exact amount (of tax evasion) will be ascertained once the raids are concluded,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

Calling it a “new low in politics”, deputy CM Pawar expressed his anger over the raids on his sisters’ properties and businesses. Central agencies are being used for “political benefits” and the people of the state are watching this, he said. His party, NCP, said the “constant probes” by different agencies in the state showed that the BJP was worried about the NCP.

“I don’t want to say anything about the raids on companies that are connected to me. They can do whatever they feel is right. However, I am hurt that my sisters who got married 35 to 40 years back and are leading their own lives with their family are being raided. I can’t understand the reason for the raids on them,” said Pawar.

According to the people in the know, among the premises searched by the tax sleuths including Jarandeshwar sugar cooperative and another sugar factory in Daund.

In July, the Enforcement Directorate had attached Rs.65 crores of assets belonging to Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana, a Koregaon, Satara-based sugar cooperative factory linked to Pawar. S-ET

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