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Salient Points Of BJP National Spokespersons Dr. Syed Zafar Islam And Dr. Sambit Patra’s Joint Press Conference.

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New Delhi, 23rd of March, 2024 : Bharatiya Janata Party National Spokespersons Dr. Syed Zafar Islam and Dr. Sambit Patra addressed a joint press conference at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday. During the press conference, Dr. Sambit Patra criticized Congress for linking its account freeze to democracy’s death and for tax irregularities. Dr. Patra clarified that Congress accounts weren’t frozen but subject to taxation laws. Dr. Patra highlighted that Congress failed to file taxes on time, and exceeded donation limits, leading to exemption revocation.

BJP National spokesperson Dr. Syed Zafar Islam asserted that Congress, known as the king of scams, consistently approached various courts and tribunals regarding the Income Tax case but faced defeat. Dr. Syed Zafar labeled Congress as a scam party, adept at falsely accusing the government, BJP, and the Income Tax Department when caught in scams, yet failing to defend itself effectively in court.

BJP National Spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra criticized Congress for connecting its account freeze to the death of democracy in the country. Dr. Patra emphasized that Congress, like every other political party, receives tax exemption under Section 13A of the Income Tax Act. Dr. Patra stressed that all parties, including BJP, are treated equally under the law, and there should be no differentiation in their treatment.

Dr. Sambit Patra explained that the Congress party’s finances for the 2017-18 fiscal year were assessed in 2018-19. Dr. Patra noted that all donations received by the Congress party are subject to taxation, with deadlines for payment. Dr. Patra highlighted that if taxes are not paid within the extended deadline, penalties are imposed as per the law. Dr. Patra clarified that as per the assessment for the financial year 2017-18, the Congress party was required to file its tax return by December 31, 2018. However, Congress failed to meet this deadline and paid the tax in February 2019, after the extended deadline, which constituted a violation of the law.

BJP National Spokesperson emphasized that the Congress party failed to adhere to the rule prohibiting political parties from receiving donations exceeding €20,000. Despite being aware of the regulations, the Congress party accepted a donation of 14 lakh during the financial year 2017-18, thereby violating two rules. Firstly, it failed to submit the tax within the deadline or the extended deadline. Secondly, it exceeded the permissible limit for donations. Dr. Patra pointed out that it was stated that if the party failed to adhere to the established rules, the exemption facility would be revoked. Consequently, the exemption of the Congress party, which it received under section 13A for being a political party, has been withdrawn. The Congress party is now classified as an association of people in nomenclature and is subject to normal tax liability.

BJP spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra stated that in July 2021, the tax assessment revealed that the party’s return demand amounted to 105 crores, as per the assessment of the party’s return. This indicated that the Congress party was liable to pay ₹105 crore to the IT department as it was no longer exempt from taxation due to its political party status. Dr. Patra emphasized that however, the Congress only deposited *2.5 crore without raising any objections when asked about the *105 crore, indicating their acceptance of the demand. Dr. Patra emphasized that if they felt unfairly treated, they should not have paid the 2.5 crore. According to the Income Tax Act, if 20% of the total arrears balance is submitted, the case can be put in abeyance. Dr. Patra clarified that if the Congress had paid 20% of 105 crore, which is *21 crore, the case would not have proceeded. However, the Congress remained defiant and only paid 2.5 crore. Dr. Patra noted that if the party failed to pay the Income Tax interest amount, it would accrue additional interest. As a result, the interest on the 105 crore has now increased to 135 crore, and until the total amount is paid, the interest will continue to accumulate.

Dr. Sambit Patra stated that Congress initially filed an appeal with the Commissioner of Appeals to stay the recovery notice issued by the Income Tax department, but this appeal was rejected. Subsequently, the Congress approached the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal seeking a stay on the notice, which was also dismissed. After these rejections, the Congress moved to the Delhi High Court to challenge the decision of the ITAT. However, the Delhi High Court upheld the ITAT’s decision, issuing adverse remarks against the Congress and affirming the validity of the ITAT’S verdict. The court ruled that there would be no stay on the notice issued by the IT department.

BJP National Spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra stated that on February 13, 2024, a notice was issued to the Congress party, indicating that some of its bank accounts were linked to the matter. Dr. Patra stated that the Congress party has 3 to 4 bank accounts that were scrutinized and attached to the matter by the Income Tax department. Dr. Patra clarified that the Congress party maintains multiple functional accounts apart from these 3 to 4 accounts. Dr. Patra stated that it is surprising that the Congress party has multiple PAN numbers, which is against the constitution of the party. Dr. Patra stated that according to Income Tax rules, there’s a Lien Amount. If Congress had 135 crore outstanding, then *115 crore out of those cannot be touched as it’s considered the Lien Amount. Dr. Patra emphasized that the 115 crore kept as a Lien amount in Congress’ account cannot be withdrawn but remains in their account. If they fail to pay the outstanding amount, it will be recovered from this sum. This law applies equally to all parties, contrary to Congress’ claims of freezing. Dr. Patra clarified that besides the 115 crore, the party can freely transact with any amount except for the *115 crore, as it remains untouchable due to the party’s default status. This procedure is standard in taxation matters according to the IT Act.

Dr. Patra highlighted reports indicating that the Congress party possesses thousands of crores in its bank accounts and nearly 500 crores in fixed assets. Dr. Patra pointed out Congress leaders frequently travel in chartered flights, and contrarily, Rahul Gandhi claimed the party lacked funds even for booking a train ticket. Dr. Patra highlighted Congress’s involvement in numerous scams, including the 1.8 lakh crore Coal Scam, 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam, *3600 crore Chopper scam, *70 thousand crore CWG scam, and 5000 crore National Herald scam, cumulatively amounting to a staggering figure.

BJP National spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra clarified that the Congress party’s accounts have not been frozen; they remain operational. However, every citizen, organization, and political party must adhere to the laws and regulations outlined in the IT Act. Dr. Patra questioned why Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi believe they are above the constitution. Dr. Patra concluded by stating that after this detailed press conference by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rahul Gandhi will likely provide a technical response rather than a political one.

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