Ahmed Khan is supposed to appear before the department early next month (File)
The Income Tax Department has summoned senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in connection with a tax evasion probe linked to monetary transactions of the party, officials said on Friday.
Mr Patel has been sent a fresh notice to appear in person in his capacity as the treasurer of the Congress, they said. The Congress leader told PTI that he was surprised to see the summons.
"Our accounts are transparent and clear. Better they (I-T dept) should have looked at the record breaking donations of the BJP. They have called me and I will definitely go, but I do not know the reason why they have called me," he said.
The BJP received Rs 10,000 crore as political donation in cash and through cheques, which in India's history, no political party has ever got, Ahmed Patel, a member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, claimed. "It is blatant corruption," he said.
As per the officials, the Congress leader had informed the department that he was unwell when the first summons were sent to him in February.
He is now supposed to appear before the department early next month.
The officials said the department wants to question Mr Patel and understand the income, donations and expenses of the Congress and confront him with documents, related to the party's purported funding, seized after searches last year at various locations in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The department suspects irregularities in these transactions and has also has grilled about a dozen Congress office-bearers in the past.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which makes the policy for the Income Tax (I-T) Department, had said in a statement in November last year that the raids were conducted at 42 locations, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Erode, to unearth a large tax evasion nexus in the first week of that month.
The searches were on a group of people issuing bogus bills and conducting alleged hawala transactions, it had said. These raids are said to be linked to the probe into this case.
Raids conducted by the taxman at 52 locations in Madhya Pradesh, including at the premises of Chief Minister Kamal Nath's aides, last year have also led to the recovery of certain "documents and evidence" which form the basis of this case.
The CBDT had said the I-T department had detected a "widespread and well-organised" hawala racket of about Rs 281 crore during raids against the close aides of Kamal Nath, who is also the president of the party's unit in Madhya Pradesh, and others.
It said I-T officers had recovered Rs 14.6 crore of "unaccounted" cash and seized diaries and computer files of suspect payments made between people in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.