"There are some government guests at Ajit's home, but I'm not worried by them," said Sharad Pawar, chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), while speaking about the raids by the Income Tax (I-T) department on registered addresses of businesses and homes of Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar and others in his family.
On Thursday, 7 October, the I-T department conducted raids in Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur at the premises of various business persons and close family members of Ajit Pawar, who is an NCP leader.
The raids, which continued through Friday, saw the I-T department search addresses related to Ajit's three sisters and his son Parth Pawar, across the cities of Pune, Nandurbar, Kolhapur and Satara.
"I have also been served a notice by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the past, but the people of Maharashtra taught them (the BJP-led union government) a lesson," Pawar further added.
Sharad Pawar said that the raids were an 'act of vengeance and revenge' for the same.
One of Ajit Pawar's three sisters, Vijaya Patil, lives in Kolhapur. His other sisters, Neeta Patil and Rajani Tendulkar, live in Pune.
Sources told The Quint that the office premises of Neeta's company, Mukta Publications, was raided in Kolhapur. Simultaneously, a raid was also conducted at her farmhouse in the city.
I-T officials visited the homes of the other two sisters and questioned them. There are also raids being conducted on the directors of various sugar factories linked to Ajit Pawar. Similar raids have also been conducted at Parth Pawar's Mumbai office.
Sources further confirmed that the raids were being conducted in a case of possible tax evasion.
Earlier, Ajit had confirmed the news of the raids.
“It is their duty to investigate if they found some irregularities, but it's very unfortunate that our families and friends are targeted by agencies only because of political vendetta," he had said.
He was further quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that his “only grief” was that they conducted raids on the premises related to his three sisters.
"If raids were conducted because they are my sisters, then people of the state should think about the level (at which) the central agencies are being misused,” he added.
Earlier, in July, the Enforcement Directorate said that it had attached properties amounting to nearly Rs 65.75 crore in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank fraud. Pawar was named in this Rs 25,000-crore scam.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times, PTI)