SAD MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali on IT raids against him: Centre targeting us for helping farmers
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali on Wednesday said that income tax officials raiding his premises is a method adopted by the Centre to avenge them for helping farmers in the movement against three agriculture laws.
Income Tax officials conducted raids at six premises linked to Ayali in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
"By raiding my premises by the Income Tax officials, I am being punished for helping farmers. The agencies are being used by the central government of the country, they are using it to end the farmers' movement," Ayali told ANI.
"I became a part of the farmer's movement since the day the three farm ordinances came into force. I will still stand by farmers," he added.
"Nothing has been found in raids as the entire business of our family is legitimate and being run in a transparent manner by following all rules and regulations. Most of my wealth is ancestral," he added.
The Income Tax Department raided Ayali's residence on Tuesday morning, sources said. Income Tax officials reached the MLA's residence at 6 am. Besides his house, raids were conducted at his office, farmhouse, and other premises.
In the 2017 state Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party's HS Phoolka had won from the Dakha constituency. Following his resignation, a by-election was held here in which SAD leader Manpreet Singh Ayali became the MLA defeating Congress candidate Captain Sandeep Sandhu.
SAD has fielded Ayali from the seat once again in the upcoming Punjab Assembly polls scheduled to be held early next year.
While, farmers have been protesting at different sites since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.