Income Tax Department officials on Sunday ended a two-day long search at the residences and offices of TDP MP CM Ramesh. The searches, which began at the premises in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday, concluded around Sunday noon.
The I-T officials conducted searches at the premises, including Ramesh's company Rithwik Projects in Hyderabad, for over 50 hours. Simultaneous searches were also conducted at his residences in Hyderabad and at Potladurti in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
Ramesh is a member of Rajya Sabha belonging to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and is considered close to Chief Minister and TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu.
At a news conference on Sunday, Ramesh alleged that the I-T raids were conducted due to political vendetta. He claimed that one I-T official told him that the raids were conducted because he was taking on the ruling party at the Centre.
"An official told me to convey to your boss that this will be the result of working against the ruling party," he said. Ramesh also claimed to have recorded the conversation with the I-T official.
The TDP had pulled out of the BJP-led NDA government in March this year over the latter's refusal to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
The MP said the houses of his relatives and friends were also raided. He denied reports that I-T officials seized documents from his office and residence. He said they seized Rs 3.53 lakh cash, which was kept in his house.
There has been a series of I-T raids on TDP leaders in the last few days. Searches were conducted at the houses and offices of TDP leader and industrialist Beeda Masthan Rao in Andhra Pradesh on October 5.
Earlier, there were also reports of I-T raids on Narayana group of educational institutions run by TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Minister K Narayana. However, he denied the reports.
I-T officials also raided the premises of former TDP leader Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad last week. Revanth, who was once a close aide of Naidu, is currently the working as the President of Congress Telangana unit.