Kejriwal vows to end ‘raid raj’ in Punjab

Jalandhar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would end “raid raj” if it is voted to power in Punjab in the next assembly election.

Taking a jibe at the frequent tax raids on business houses and traders by the ruling Akali-BJP combine, while touching on another problem in the state, he said the industrialists have the potential to provide employment to those who have undergone drug rehabilitation.

“It’s our observation that ‘raid raj’ instead of curbing the corruption, rather encourages it among the corrupt bureaucrats and inspectors.

“Therefore, it’s important that the government must discourage it in any state,” he said, adding that during any “raid raj”, corrupt officers, instead of filling the coffers of the government, fill their own pockets.

“When we came to power in Delhi, there were about 150 raids being conducted in a month, which we stopped and now a raid is being allowed only in case the department is having ample evidence against whom it will be conducted,” said Kejriwal, also the AAP’s national convener.

He said he was informed by the business community that the Income Tax (IT) Department is conducting raids across India to meet their target of recovering black money.

“Instead of conducting such raids, IT sleuths should be raiding (liquor baron) Vijay Mallya and I am sure their target of at least Rs 7,000 crore could have been fulfilled.

“Giant corporate houses are being let free to loot, which indicates the government’s intention on the issue of black money,” he said.

The Badal family and their Shiromani Akali Dal has been in power in Punjab, in an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), since 2007.