IT raids by day, GST raids by night in bypoll-bound Padampur

Bhubaneswar: Padampur Assembly segment in Bargarh district of Odisha today witnessed separate raids by the Income Tax and GST sleuths ahead of the December 5 by-election.

While multiple teams of Income Tax department today raided the houses of three businessmen, who are known supporters of BJD, in the morning, the GST officials raided several shops, including that of Padampur town BJP president, in the evening.

According to sources, GST officials raided at least seven shops at Padampur, Bargarh, Paikamal and Jharbandh simultaneously.

They raided Jagadamba cloth store, Meenakshi Jewellery and Uddipak Indane at Padampur, Nrusingh petrol pump and Nrusinghnath Medical Store at Paikmal, and Bikash Hardware at Jharbandh. Padampur Town BJP president Sunil Agrawal is the owner of Jagadamba cloth store, sources said.

“The GST raids are politically motivated,” said Agarwal’s father, a former chairperson of Padampur NAC.

Earlier, IT sleuths raided the houses of businessmen Mohammed Sajid of Bahidarpada, Manabhanjana Sahoo of Sahoopada and Gaju Agrawal of Badapada. All of them are supporters of BJD, sources said.

Mohammed Sajid was an associate of deceased Padampur MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha, whose demise necessitated the bypoll.

The ruling BJD and the main opposition BJP in Odisha are leaving no stones unturned to win the by-election and set the tone for 2024 Assembly election in the state.

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