The Income Tax Department seized Rs 45.4 lakh cash during a search at the residence of an aide of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and outgoing MP from Guntur, Galla Jayadev, late on Tuesday night.
The I-T officials searched the residence of Gurappa Narasimha Naidu, cost accountant of Jayadev, who was one of the richest MPs in the outgoing Lok Sabha.
The Income Tax Department said in a statement on Wednesday that the search was conducted at the premises of Naidu after information was received on toll-free-number that cash was kept at his residence for use in the general election.
"It was only at the time of recording his statement late in the night that he revealed that he was giving services to Shri Galla Jayadev, MP, TDP also in his capacity as a cost accountant. During the course of search, cash of Rs. 45.4 lakh was seized being unexplained," it said in a statement.
Gurappa Naidu is a retired person who is practising freelance cost accountancy. The department clarified that no premise of Jayadev was searched.
On learning about the searches, Jayadev, along with other leaders of the TDP, had reached the area. They staged a sit-in condemning the raids. They later withdrew the protest after IT officials left the place.
Jayadev, who is seeking re-election from Guntur, alleged the raids were aimed at targeting his party a day before the polling.
Jayadev is the Managing Director of Amara Raja Group, known for its automotive battery brand Amaron. With declared assets of Rs 683 crore, he was one of the richest MPs in the outgoing Lok Sabha. This time he has declared assets of Rs 305 crore.
TDP President and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said the raid on Jayadev's aide was the latest action by the I-T Department to target the party at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the I-T officials have conducted raids on many TDP leaders in the recent days. Naidu submitted a memorandum to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, taking strong exception to the I-T raids during elections.
He later staged a sit-in at CEO's office to protest the alleged bias being shown by the Election Commission and the IT raids.