The party has yet to recover from the crushing defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections. It is now facing intense scrutiny as the Income Tax (IT) Department has recovered hundreds of crores of unaccounted cash from properties linked to its Jharkhand Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Prasad Sahu.
By 9th December, the IT Department recovered nearly Rs 300 crores from the premises linked to Sahu, and further recovery is still underway. Congress Party officially distanced itself from the controversy and claimed it had nothing to do with the cash recovered by the IT Department.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Congress party’s General Secretary in Communications, Jairam Ramesh, claimed that the Indian National Congress has nothing to do with the businesses run by its Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand. The senior Congress functionary added that only the accused in the case, Sahu, could explain the source for vast piles of cash reportedly seized from his properties and demanded an explanation from Sahu.
The money recovered by the IT department is said to be linked to Odisha-based Boudh Distillery Private Limited and its related organisations, where Sahu is a partner. Over nineteen bags containing cash were taken from the home of a certain Bunty Sahu, who was assigned to oversee the management of liquor facilities in the Odisha regions.
Three dozen machines were deployedto count the cash. Reports suggest some of the machines broke down during counting, resulting in a delay in completing the process.
Reportedly, Bhagat Beherea, the Regional Manager of the State Bank of India in Bolangir, said that the bank had received 176 bags containing money in total. Fifty workers and twenty-five counting machines have been deployed to count the currency notes.
The question arises; who is the 220 crore prodigy, Dhiraj Prasad Sahu?
Dhiraj Prasad Sahu is a partnerin Baldev Sahu Infra Pvt Ltd, a group company of Budha Distilleries. He has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand since 2009. Sahu’s family has been linked to Congress for a long time.
Sahu started his political careerin 1977 as a National Students Union of India (NSUI) member. Slowly and steadily, he climbed the party ladder and served as office-bearer in the Lohardaga district and later in the Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee.
In 2009, he was elected Rajya Sabha member for the first time in a bypoll. He was re-elected for the second term in 2010. In May 2018, he became the third time Rajya Sabha member of Congress from Jharkhand.
According to his profile on the Rajya Sabha, his family has been associated with Congress since independence. He was part of “Jail Bharo Aandolan” in 1978. He has asked 630 questions in Rajya Sabha since 2010, with the latest being related to the Kavach Safety System, procurement of paddy, losses due to damage to national highways, accidents in coal mines, privatisation of airports and more.
In November 2022, Sahu participated in Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, yet another attempt of the Congress Party to “launch” Gandhi into politics and project him as Prime Minister candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. In a post on X, Dhiraj Sahu sharedsome photographs from the Yatra.
Later, in February 2023, Sahu published a video from the Yatra and wrote, “Historic Bharat Jodo Yatra ended up winning the hearts of Indians. Honoured to be a part of this historic journey.”
How has Dhiraj Prasad Sahu’s pile of black money brought Congress back on BJP’s radar and this time around for corruption’s agenda?
In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted a report by Dainik Bhaskar on the raids and said, “The countrymen should look at the pile of these currency notes and then listen to the honest ‘speeches’ of their leaders. Whatever has been looted from the public, every penny will have to be returned, this is Modi’s guarantee.”
Speaking to Times Now, BJP leader Nishikant Dubey said, “The Congress leader is a partner in the two companies that are being raided. I feel the Income Tax department should transfer the case to the Enforcement Directorate considering the magnanimity of the situation.” In a post on X, he wrote, “The Rajya Sabha MP of Congress, Dhiraj Sahu, is declared as a partner in two companies, Baldev Sahu & Company and Shiv Prasad Sahu & Sons, whose shares have been accounted for at Rs 350 crores till now.
The disclosure of 20% of these shares is pending, and it is suspected to be undisclosed or benami, which will be revealed through an investigation. A raid at his residences in Ranchi and Lohardaga resulted in the recovery of Rs 20 crore in cash and assets, including gold, silver, and diamonds worth Rs 150 crore. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra was not about unifying India but rather a ‘Bhrashtachari Jodo Yatra’.”
Speaking to ANI, Union Minister Smriti Irani said, “Mohabbat ki dukaan par corruption ka karobaar chal raha hai. Congress will have to give an answer on this.”
She added, “Rs 200 crore has been recovered from the premises of their party MP Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, and the counting is still going on…The Congress high command, (means) the Gandhi family, will have to tell the country that for which Congress leader of the Gandhi family he was working as an ATM.”
The Indian National Congress, 138 year old party which fought for independence gets dragged into mud every day for some or the other issue. Some days its corruption and other days it’s abusing and cursing the voters.
I.N.D.I.A Alliance faces a major threat to their existence if the ever-so-powerful BJP manages to defeat them in 2024 elections. According to reports and ground surveys, BJP is going to form the government once again.
It’s a shame that Gandhi-Nehru lineage the same duo who brought independence are fighting for votes. They used to dominate the parliament with 400 seats and now are reduced only to 50.