I-T lens on NCP acount after Rs 61.5 crore deposited in a year
Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party is being investigated by the income tax department as the party’s bank account showed deposits of Rs 20.75 crore from unidentified contributors during March-April.
A preliminary inquiry revealed that in the past year, Rs 61.56 crore was deposited in the party’s account, of which Rs 34.75 crore was in cash. The party, in most cases, failed to provide any PAN details of the contributors or their names.
The Mumbai unit of I-T investigation has sent a notice to NCP asking the party to explain the source of this huge cash deposits in the party’s account in Bank of Maharashtra’s Mumbai branch. I-T officials probing the case have taken out all transaction details of the party for the last one year starting April 2, 2013 till April 19, 2014.
Responding to the I-T notice, the NCP has sought time till the first week of June to furnish relevant details. It has, however, claimed that these cash contributions were from the party’s local units. Sources said NCP, in its letter to the I-T department, claimed that the huge cash deposits were “collections made by the party from its various districts and constituencies in Maharashtra by way of coupons which are in the denomination of Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100”.
The Election Commission has been keeping a hawk eye on unaccounted cash distribution in the ongoing elections. It has constituted flying squads comprising its own officials and those drawn from the income tax department. These officials have seized close to Rs 280 crore after the notification of the Lok Sabha polls. A large part of this cash, more than Rs 130 crore, has been seized from Andhra Pradesh alone.