The BJP on Thursday mocked Rahul Gandhi for what they said was his “ignorance” about tax matters and asserted that the Congress cannot access its bank accounts because the party failed to file their Income Tax returns and the BJP has nothing to do with it.

Soon after Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge held a press conference accusing the ruling BJP of “crippling” the principal opposition party during elections by freezing its bank accounts, the BJP hit back.

Party spokespersons Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sambit Patra said Rahul Gandhi is “lying” and does not know how many rules the Congress has violated to face the freezing of its accounts.

Tax knowledge

“Congress has given a lot of gyaan today. Rahul Gandhi gave such gyaan that the country was left perplexed. If Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge’s press conference can be summed up in one sentence, it would be that in utter desperation of imminent defeat, the Congress party sought to find an alibi. If the Congress’s account has been frozen, how does it impact the country? Rahul Gandhi, what do you mean? Don’t insult Indian democracy. What can we do if the country does not vote for you? Your stock value is depleted. We have a gentle advice for the Congress – the more you allow Rahul Gandhi to open his mouth, you lose ground,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

He said Rahul Gandhi had “little knowledge which can be dangerous” and asserted that the BJP had nothing to do with Congress’s income tax troubles.

Legal requirements

“It is true that the Income Tax Act section 13(a) stipulates political parties do not have to pay income tax. But they have to file their returns every year. If you do not file every year, you lose your exemption. The fact is that on July 6, 2021, an order was issues issuing a demand notice for ₹105.17 croe. The Congress had not filed the returns for Assessment Year 2018-19. Their exemption was lost. Income Tax Act sections 220, 221 provide for collection and recovery. This is a routine tax process. What has the BJP got to do with it,” said Prasad.

“Rahul Gandhi has lied. At every authority, they have lost their appeal. CIT appeal was lost. RS 135 crore tax plus interest was levied. ITAT also they lost. Delhi High Court rejected their appeal on March 13. The Court remarked, “It was a badly handled matter. Somebody from the Congress office went to sleep right from 2021…” Now they have gone to SC. The matter is listed on April 1. Rahul Gandhi did not disclose these facts but chose to attack all democratic institutions. He should apologise to the country,” said Prasad.