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Congress playing victim card, realised defeat in LS polls: BJP's Gopal Agarwal on IT notices

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Noida, Mar 30 (PTI) BJP leader Gopal Krishna Agarwal on Saturday accused the Congress of crying foul over the Income Tax notices, claiming the opposition party is playing "victim card" as it has realised its defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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Agarwal said the Congress has a "misconception" that it is above the law.

The BJP's spokesperson on economic affairs claimed that the Congress got into trouble with the IT because of its cash transactions and because it did not reply to its notices before party accounts were frozen.

"Moreover, you (Congress) are spreading lies about it. You are comparing yourself with the BJP. The BJP has not taken any cash donations and whenever authorities sought its details, the party furnished it to them timely. That is why the BJP did not have any tax liability or got any notice from the Income Tax," he said.

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"When you were searched again, more cash transactions were found and your accounts were seized. You don't keep your books right, engage in cash transactions, don't abide by Election Commission's rules, don't reply to IT notices, don't file IT returns but then go to public and spread misinformation, play the victim card," Agarwal said.

"It's clear that you have realised you are not going to win any seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and that is why you are using such tactics as scapegoat," Agarwal added.

The Congress has said it received IT notices, asking it to pay dues of Rs 1,823 crore, for alleged discrepancies in tax returns filed in the past few years.

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The party has been raising the allegation that the BJP-led Centre is trying to "cripple" the opposition in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections.

Agarwal said the provisions of the Income Tax department are for everybody, whether it is a political party or an individual.

"Political parties get exemptions under some provisions of the Income Tax rules. But if those conditions are violated and rules not followed, then their IT exemption does not apply," Agarwal said.

"The Rs 14.75 lakh donation taken by the Congress in 2017-18 was cash donations above Rs 2,000. Rules of IT and Election Commission say that in such conditions, taking cash donations is illegal. Taking cash donations of more than Rs 2,000 ended their tax exemption and the department sent them several notices but the party did not reply to them.

"When the exemption ended, then all their other income also became taxable and whatever their expenditures were they were also disallowed by the law," he claimed. PTI KIS VN VN

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