In the continuing operation against the companies owned by the leaders of Telulgu Desam Party, Income Tax department on Friday raided the residence and offices of prominent industrialist and Member of Rajya Sabha CM Ramesh. About 100 officials of the department carried out simultaneous raids and searches in Hyderabad and Kadapa and recovered some documents.

The raids were carried out when the TDP MP was in New Delhi. This has come close on the heels of similar raids on the companies and houses of many other Telugu Desam leaders in Vijaywada and other cities of Andhra Pradesh during the week.

As the news of the raid spread a large number of TDP supporters gathered outside CM Ramesh’s residence at Petladurthi in Erraguntala Mandal of Kadapa district and raised slogans against the Narendra Modi led BJP Government holding it responsible for the raids. Tension prevailed for sometime as the agitated workers tried to barge into the residence when the IT officials were searching the place.

In Hyderabad the offices of Rithwik Industries belonging to Rameh’s family was searched. According to the sources an IT official contacted the MP over phone and informed him about the ongoing raids. MP told the official that he had no objections to searches provided any official from Telangana should not be involved in it as he had no faith in Telangana state government and officials as they can bring anything from outside and plant it there, sources said.

Later talking to the media CM Ramesh said that the Modi Government was targeting its political opponents as part of a plan and he was being victimized as he had raised the issue of setting up steel plant in Kadapa. “Like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal, they are hatching a conspiracy in Andhra Pradesh too”, he said recalling that the State BJP leaders as well YSR Congress leaders Jaganmohan Reddy and Vijaysai Reddy had publicly threatened that the income tax raids will be carried out against the TDP leaders. “This is nothing but political vendetta”, said the two time MP.

“If I have done something wrong, hang me but don’t carry out false propaganda to tarnish my name. Earlier they had carried out similar raids against Revanth Reddy but could not find even a mice”, he said.

Several other Telugu Desam leaders and state ministers also reacted strongly to the income tax raids.

Minister Paritala Sunita alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had hatched the conspiracy to target the TDP leaders. “But in the process they have created such an atmosphere of terror that the investors were getting scared and not willing to come to the state”, she said.

Another minister S Chandramohan Reddy said that such raids were a throw back to the dark days of emergency.

Senior TDP leader Varla Ramaiah alleged that the raids were part of Operation Garuda to destabilize the state government of N Chandrababu Naidu. “Instead of targeting the opposition the Prime Minister should open his mouth about the allegations of massive corruption in Rafael aircrafts”, he said.

Telangana Congress working President A Revanth Reddy, who had also become target of IT raids recently said that this was being done at the behest of the Prime Minister Modi.