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Congress says they can’t pay bills or salaries because their bank accounts are frozen.


Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge stated that the freezing of bank accounts right before the Lok Sabha elections constitutes an attack on Indian democracy.

The Congress party alleged on Friday that four of its primary bank accounts were frozen by the Income Tax department on what they described as “weak grounds.” These accounts, including the one belonging to the Indian Youth Congress, were reportedly frozen due to an Income Tax demand of ₹210 crore for the year 2018-19, an election year, according to Congress treasurer Ajay Maken.

Maken stated that Congress had filed its Income Tax return for the relevant year a few days late, which led to this action. “Democracy in India has come to a complete halt. The bank accounts of the country’s main opposition party have all been frozen,” Maken said during a press conference.

He mentioned that the party was notified on Thursday that banks were not honouring their cheques. “Upon further inquiry, we discovered that the bank accounts of the Youth Congress had been frozen. The Congress party’s accounts have also been seized,” Maken added.

Moreover, Maken revealed that the party currently lacks funds to spend, settle bills, or pay salaries to its employees. “Right now, we don’t have any money to spend, to pay electricity bills, or to pay salaries to our employees. This will impact everything, not just our political activities,” he remarked.

However, an hour after Maken’s press conference, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha informed that the party had approached the Income Tax Appellate Authority (ITAT) regarding the issue, and interim relief had been granted.

“The ITAT graciously stated that there will only be a lien on the bank account. There are no restrictions. The party can operate its accounts,” Tankha said in a video message. He added that the tribunal would hear the case next on Wednesday.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge condemned the freezing of the accounts, stating that it was a severe assault on Indian democracy, particularly ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul Gandhi also criticized the Narendra Modi government for its alleged involvement in the Income Tax department’s action, asserting that Congress stands for the people, not just monetary power. Shashi Tharoor expressed shock and shame over the move by the Income Tax department, labeling it as “utterly shameful.”

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