New Delhi, Mar 16 (ANI): Commenting on the uproar inside the Rajya Sabha over Income Tax (I-T) Department's notice to the Gujarat Government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Tarun Vijay today said the tax probe was a ploy by the Central Government to hit back at the Opposition, as it had been spearheading the issue of black money stashed in foreign bank accounts.
"The way the Central government has issued through the income tax department to the Gujarat government and have questioned about the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed with the Gujarat government by various industrial houses and foreign governments, it smells of an Emergency-like revenge killing," said Vijay.
"It looks like the Central Government takes Gujarat as an enemy territory, and Narendra Modi as an agent of enemies," he added.
Vijay also called for an apology from the Central Government, and the removal of the income tax officer who issued the letter from his post.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Rajeev Shukla slammed the Opposition for disrupting the proceedings of the House.
"As far as this letter is concerned, an income tax officer is only collecting information as to who are the people who have signed the MoUs of amounts above 1,000 crores, which is again a routine exercise. There is no notice to the state government or an inquiry of any sort," said Shukla.
"They are creating this commotion to gain political advantage. And if they talk of Vibrant Gujarat (Vibrant Gujarat Investors' Summit), then why are they not giving any information under the RTI (Right To Information) Act? Why did they not make any website for it?" he added.
He further said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was out of town, and would take a decision on the matter on his return.
The BJP earlier today held up proceedings inside the Rajya Sabha over Income Tax (I-T) Department's notice to the Gujarat Government seeking details on MoUs signed by the state during the recent 'Vibrant Gujarat Investors' Summit'.
Alleging that the Congress-led UPA Government was harassing the BJP Government in Gujarat, the Leader of the Opposition, Arun Jaitley, said the communication issued on February 17 also sought details from the State government on the number of investors, both private and foreign companies.
Jaitley alleged that every Opposition-ruled state in the country has been complaining of discrimination by the Centre.
Demanding action against the concerned officer for dereliction of duties, Jaitley said the country should be proud of the vibrant Gujarat state, which had signed MoUs worth 21.5 lakh crore rupees.
Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu demanded a statement either by the Finance Minister or the Prime Minister saying this is the only solution.
On Tuesday, Gujarat's Minister of State for Industries Saurabh Patel blamed the Congress party for an income tax inquiry on several investors.
Accusing the Congress of obstructing Gujarat's industrial progress, Patel said: "It is unfortunate that because of the attitude of Leader of the Opposition (Shaktisinh Gohil) and his constant complaints to the Centre, the I-T department has sent us a letter."
The income tax department's letter, dated February 17, signed by Deputy Director (investigations) Anurag Sharma, says the inquiry is being conducted under section 131 (1A) of the Income Tax Act.
As many as 7,936 MoUs, drawing investments to the tune of over Rs 20.83 lakh crore, were signed by the Gujarat Government at the VGS 2011, held on January 12-13. (ANI)