Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today alleged the raids conducted by Election Expenditure Observer and Income Tax teams at Cabinet Minister Rockybul Hussain's residence and vehicle were "politically motivated" and aimed at "defaming" the leader and the Congress party.
"The raids at Hussain's house yesterday has exposed the Government of India's attitude towards the Opposition and proves it is politically motivated," Gogoi said here.
The Chief Minister said Hussain is not only a senior Cabinet Minister but a top ranking leader of the party and of the minorities, and the raids were conducted in a bid to "defame" him and the Congress.
"We strongly condemn such high-handed attitude of the Centre and will lodge our protest with the appropriate authorities," Gogoi said.
He said the authorities can conduct raid before elections, but proper procedure must be followed which was not done in this particular case. Also, the teams did not find anything objectionable during the raids, he said.
Agriculture Minister Rockybul Hussain told reporters today the officials who raided his house yesterday said they had come in connection with complaints against his wife.
"My wife is not a political person, then why should any raid be conducted against her? But I asked her to cooperate.
The authorities did not find anything," he said.
"Entire episode is a political conspiracy and has been done at the behest of a former colleague who recently joined the BJP to defame me and my party," Hussain said.
He said the BJP cannot counter the Congress party on the field so has "stooped so low to defame me" and the good workdone by our government during the last 15 years. "We condemn the use of official machinery for political purpose. We'll definitely win the forthcoming elections," the minister added.
Hussain had yesterday filed a police complaint against the 'Election Commission Election Expenditure' in this regard.
Hussain had claimed an election commission team was waiting at his house in Panjabari area when he and his wife came there at around 06.30 pm yesterday.
He said the team asked him and his security in another car to get out of their vehicles to conduct searches.
"As soon as the Election Expenditure team left, my house was raided by an income tax team. We have never seen income tax raids being conducted during the night, but only in the day time," the minister claimed.
The Election Expenditure Observer for Kamrup, Raghabendra Singh, and other officials were contacted but they refused to comment on the raids.