The Congress has sought a clarification from its Rajya Sabha member Dhiraj Sahu after ₹350 crore in cash from entities linked to his companies have been recovered during the raids by the Income Tax (I-T) department in Odisha.
“It is a collective business of his joint family. That family has been in business for over 100 years. Only he can give information about from where he got such a huge amount of money but since he is associated with the Congress and is a Rajya Sabha member of our party, the Congress has sought a clarification from him,” Congress’s Jharkhand in-charge and All India Congress Committee (AICC) member Avinash Pandey told the media in Ranchi.
He said, “This incident has nothing to do with the Congress. The party has already made it clear that this is a personal matter of Dheeraj Sahu. At the same time it would not be right to comment on anything until the official statement comes from the Income Tax and related agencies.”
This is not the first time Mr. Sahu has landed in trouble. After being elected as Rajya Sabha member for the third time in May 2018, he came into limelight in December 2019 when about ₹30 lakh in cash was found in his bag at the Ranchi airport while going to Delhi.
After the huge amount was detected during the scanning of the bag, the Central Industrial Security Force team informed the I-T department. It was time for the take-off of the flight. So, the I-T department had questioned him in Delhi. At the Delhi airport, Mr. Sahu presented the documents related to the cash and he was allowed to go free.
Gopal Sahu case
The Sahu family came into limelight for the second time during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when Mr. Dheeraj Sahu’s brother Gopal Sahu contested against BJP candidate Jayant Sinha in Hazaribagh.
Mr. Gopal Sahu had opened the camp office at Hazaribagh’s Hotel A.K and there was a raid during that time also and around ₹22 lakh was recovered from his office.
During the questioning by the I-T department, Mr. Gopal Sahu could not tell from where the money had come. However, he lost the election from Hazaribagh and later it could not be revealed the seized money belonged to whom. At that time, Principal Income Tax Commissioner of Ranchi, R.N. Sahay, had said that a case would be registered under political seizure.
Meanwhile, Opposition BJP leaders on Sunday staged a protest in front of the Raj Bhavan demanding the arrest of Mr. Dhiraj Sahu.
Many party leaders and workers, including former Minister and MLA C.P. Singh, former Minister and State vice-president Gangotri Kujur participated in the protest.
Mr. Singh alleged that the Congress had been the mother of corruption since the time of Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Be it the Jeep scam or the Bofors scam, the Congress is the mother of corruption. The property of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi was attached in the National Herald case. [Bhupesh] Baghel has done Mahadev app scam. Whoever is born in the Congress gets involved in corruption. Today when action is being taken against people involved in the scam, everyone including the Congress, JMM, RJD, SP, Trinamool, JD(U), and the Left parties are having problems,” Mr. Singh said.
He demanded that the Jharkhand Governor investigate the case through the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and said an FIR should be registered against Mr. Dheeraj Sahu and that he should be arrested.
Jharkhand Congress MLA and Minister in the Cabinet of Hemant Soren, Alamgir, said it was the job of the BJP to speak against the Congress.
“As far as raids are concerned, the law is doing its job. It is all happening because Mr. Dheeraj Sahu’s name is associated with the Congress. He is a well-known businessman of the country and his business is not in one State, rather in many States. The Congress will neither talk to rescue him nor to release him in this case,” Mr. Alam said.