According to sources, the Income Tax department raided the Mumbai offices of actor Sonu Sood and a company linked to him in Lucknow today.
“A recent transaction between Sonu Sood’s company and a Lucknow-based real estate firm is being investigated. The survey operation was launched in response to allegations of tax evasion in this transaction “According to sources in the Income Tax department.
The tax evasions come just days after the actor met with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who named him the brand ambassador for his government’s mentorship program for school students in the capital. Following the meeting, Sonu Sood denied any intention of making a political debut with Mr. Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
In the last year, Sonu Sood’s humanitarian efforts have won him a slew of fans across the country. During the pandemic, the 48-year-old actor received widespread acclaim for his charitable work. He arranged special flights and buses back to their homes for migrants stranded by last year’s lockdown, and in April-May, at the height of the second wave, he arranged oxygen for Covid patients.
Though he has never expressed an interest in politics, speculation erupted following his meeting with the AAP chief, and rumors circulated that the actor might run in the Punjab election next year.
Many people linked the tax searches to the meeting.
“That has nothing to do with it. Anyone can meet anyone with any personality. It’s merely a search, not a raid. It’s based on a tip. It is not required that the person in charge of the charity has done anything wrong… It has to be something on a lower level. Income Tax is a separate department with its own set of rules. It is carrying out its responsibilities “According to BJP spokesman Asif Bhamla.
However, the BJP’s detractors were outraged by the raids.
Mr. Kejriwal stated on Twitter that there are millions of obstacles in the path of truth, but the truth always triumphs. “Sonu Sood has the blessings of lakhs of families whom he has assisted during difficult times,” he said.
Raghav Chaddha, AAP leader, stated: “An IT raid on a man as upright as Sonu Sood, someone who has been dubbed a messiah by thousands of people, someone who has aided the oppressed. If a man like him can be politically targeted in a well-planned witch-hunt, it shows how insensitive and politically insecure the current regime is.”
The tax raids were also condemned by the BJP’s former ally Shiv Sena.