India: Congress party accuses government of freezing accounts before polls

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

“The Congress party, India’s main opposition political group, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of stifling democracy and ‘crippling’ the party by freezing its bank accounts in a tax dispute ahead of the general election. India will hold a six-week election starting next month, with the Congress-led alliance pitted against Modi’s heavily funded Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday told reporters in New Delhi the party is unable to campaign properly with its accounts frozen by the income tax department. … A portion of the Congress’s bank accounts were frozen last month pending a tax case that dates back to 2018-19. Earlier this month, a tax tribunal dismissed its appeal to pause the recovery of 1.35bn rupees ($16.32m) in income tax from its bank accounts.” (03/21/24)