The Congress party, which has been under the watch of central investigative agencies over charges of receiving kickbacks in the Agusta Westland case, is now shrouded in yet another controversy. The Income Tax Department has revealed that the cashier at the old Congress headquarters on Akbar Road in New Delhi had received tranches of unaccounted cash between 2016 and 2019, reported Times Now.
As per reports, the IT Department has now launched an investigation to ascertain the source of the cash. Times Now has accessed the 408-page dossier of the IT Department that revealed that the cash payment was made in instalments. Between February 13 and October 4 last year, the Congress Headquarters had received a whopping ₹74.62 crores. Moreover, another payment of ₹26.50 crores was made between August 2016 and September 2016. The third tranche was a payment of ₹5.22 crores that was made between April 2017 and September 2019.
Times Now reported that several payments of unaccounted cash were made to the erstwhile Congress Headquarters, prior to the 2019 General Elections. It was revealed that an amount of ₹5.4 crores was received on February 27 last year while ₹3.75 crores were received on the next day. On April 20 2019, the Congress party had received ₹6.40 crore while another tranche of ₹ 5.45 crore was received on April 24, 2019.
Political war of words breaks out between the BJP and Congress
The massive development has put the Congress party on the backfoot with the BJP demanding accountability of party leadership. BJP IT Cell Head, Amit Malviya stated that Sonia Gandhi must explain the documents and the IT trail. “In 2016, demonetisation was undertaken and the Congress party has been constantly criticising it. Congress has to answer for this money that has been traced back to their HQ. This points to the greed and hunger that Gandhis have for money. The documents and the IT trail needs explaining and none other than Sonia Gandhi should explain this as she is the party head right now,” Amit Malviya emphasised.
Dismissing the charges against the grand old party, Congress leader Rashid Alvi has claimed that the IT Department probe is being facilitated by the Prime Minister. While counter-questioning the BJP, he inquired, “The BJP has built a seven-star office in Delhi, may I ask him to tell the IT to investigate that as well.”
The AgustaWestland Scam
India had signed a deal in 2010 under the UPA regime to buy 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for the service of the Prime Minister, the President and other VVIPs. It is alleged that some politicians and public servants had abused their official positions to reduce the service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6000 metres to 4500 metres to make AgustaWestland eligible for the contract and had awarded the contract for an amount of Euro 556.262 million in 2010. The deal was cancelled in 2013 after the scam was revealed.
One of the prime accused turned approver in the AgustaWestland scam, Rajiv Saxena, has named key Congress leaders and their relatives over alleged involvement in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper scam. In his interrogation in connection with the scam, Saxena named senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, Kamal Nath’s son Bakul Nath and Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Ahmed Patel. Saxena, who was picked up by UAE government security agencies in Dubai and later extradited to India on January 30, 2019, and who later turned approver, was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate, which attached his assets worth Rs 385 crore.