Responding to the series of raids which were carried out by Income Tax Department sleuths across Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) termed it as ‘political vendetta’ against the state government.
Beginning with Nellore-based senior TDP leader Beeda Mastan Rao’s shrimp farming and export firms, I-T officials have since conducted searches at the offices of the Hyderabad-based Southern Developers. Subhagruha Projects in Vijayawada were also searched along with NSR Housing Projects in Visakhapatnam for two consecutive days.
Reports in the media have suggested that several crucial documents pertaining to 'suspicious transactions' of TDP leaders were seized in the raids. Meanwhile, there has been silence from I-T officials.
There were also reports that Narayana Educational Institutions, owned by state Municipal Minister P Narayana were also raided, but he has since denied this claim.
The council of ministers led by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reportedly took the raids seriously, as the state’s Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Minister Kalava Srinivasulu told reporters, "Hundreds of I-T sleuths came into the state. This has created fear among investors, businessmen, entrepreneurs. Many of the ministers during the cabinet meeting, felt it is with a motive that the central government was involved in the I-T raids. These I-T raids are aimed at deterring the development of the state. We feel the I-T raids are held with the mala fide intention of creating panic and fear in the minds of businessmen. We will face such attacks. The raids on a few companies is not the issue, but the Centre's vindictive nature is the main issue.”
He also said, "PM Narendra Modi’s vindictive nature will hamper the progress of the state."
Speaking to TNM, TDP Official Spokesperson Lanka Dinakar also termed the raids as part of the ‘vendetta politics’ by Narendra Modi and BJP with the support of the YSRCP.
“This is a conspiracy by Narendra Modi and BJP who are hand in glove with the YSRCP. They're unable to digest the progress of the state. All the departments are doing great as central agencies’ own reports show. However, their (BJP-ruled) states are not doing well, so it is their plan to hit back,” he said.
However, the YSRCP has mocked the Chandrababu Naidu-led government for purportedly seeing politics behind the I-T raids and accused the TDP of having a tacit relationship with the BJP.
In a statement, the YSRCP said that the CM seeing the raids as the "vindictive attitude of the Union government," was “malicious propaganda to gain sympathy of the people.”
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, YSRCP MLA Adimulapu Suresh said, “It is highly politically motivated to discuss the I-T raids during a cabinet meeting. Few reports in local media claimed that I-T sleuths will not be given security for the raids by the AP government if the scene continues.”
YSRCP also accused the TDP of deliberately turning the raids into a ‘Centre-state’ issue.
Suresh further lamented that If Naidu is pressing panic buttons, it was only to gain sympathy and to eke out political mileage.
Suresh alleged that Naidu had been trying to divert the attention of the people from the massive response that YS Jaganmohan Reddy was getting for his Praja Sankalpa Yatra, his walkathon across the state.