Action against corruption not vendetta: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit out at the Congress and other opposition parties for calling income tax raids in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka a political vendetta.

In a blog, he said public funds were being siphoned off in both the states, inviting searches by the income tax authorities but none of them have yet replied to the charges on merit.

“It has become a routine practice to call any action against corruption as political vendetta. Claim of vendetta has never been a legitimate defence in corruption. Those who commit such large acts of corruption have to be judged on the merits of the action itself,” the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

“In the public space, evidence has come in relation to Karnataka where allocations made for public welfare to the Public Works Departments were being round-tripped by engineers for a political purpose,” he added.

Jaitley said in Madhya Pradesh, an “institutional mechanism” has been created where money that is meant for development and social welfare of the weaker sections is being channelled into politics.

“Regrettably, none of the two state governments have replied to the allegations on merits,” he said.

Replying to the argument given by the accused as to why they are being singled out and their political rivals are not being searched, he said: “Is there a Right to Equality that no action can be taken till the opponents are charged? Revenue departments act objectively on the basis of material available and take action when they are satisfied that a case of search operation is made out.”

Money meant for the most vulnerable section of the society is being siphoned off which shows the mindset of those indulging in such an act, he said.

“They do not even spare those who live in destitution. This is the hypocrisy of Indian politics. After inflicting such injustice they have the audacity to speak of Nyay,” he added.