Cong MP Dhiraj Sahu ‘Gandhi family’s ATM’: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Bhubaneshwar:  Union minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday alleged that Congress MP Dhiraj Sahu functioned as the “ATM of the Gandhi family”.

The Income Tax department recently seized Rs 351 crore in cash from Odisha-based Boudh Distillery Private Limited owned by the family of Sahu, a Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand.

Rejecting the allegation of Sahu, the Odisha Congress said the I-T department is yet to name anyone in connection with the seizure.

Sahu on Friday clarified that the seized cash has nothing to do with Congress as is being claimed and all of it does not belong to him but to his family and partners in the liquor business.

The union education minister said, “It is not Dhiraj Sahu ji’s money; but Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi brother-sister duo’s money. He functioned as the ATM of the Gandhi family. People are unable to digest his statement.” Pradhan also alleged that Sahu used to manipulate the excise policy of various states to suit his interest.

The BJP leader sought to know where the cash came from.

Odisha Congress president Sarat Pattnayak described Pradhan’s allegation as baseless.

“Let the union minister (Pradhan) wait till the completion of the investigation. Income Tax department is yet to name anyone in this connection,” Pattnayak said.

The Income-tax department raids being carried out against the Odisha-based distillery firm owned by the family of Sahu, and some linked entities, ended early Friday, capping ten days of searches and recording the country’s “highest-ever” cash haul at Rs 351 crore, official sources said in New Delhi.