The cash haul in the income tax raids on Congress MP Dheeraj Sahu has crossed Rs 350 crore and the counting is still on.
The counting created a spectacle as this became the largest cash haul in a single operation in the country. The SBI branch where the counting took place received 176 bags full of cash. Three banks were roped in for the counting process. 40 currency counting machines were brought in. Initially, there was a shortage of machines as the ones in the counting operation gave in.
The counting involved nine teams of about 80 people from the tax department and various banks and they worked 24X7 in shifts. After 10 cash-stuffed almirahs were found, another team of 200 officials, including security personnel, drivers and other staff, joined in.
According to the affidavit filed by Dheeraj Sahu with the Election Commission of India in 2018, his assets amount to more than Rs 34 crore with Rs 20.4 crore in moveable assets and Rs 14.43 in immovable assets such as agricultural land and property. He also has four cars in his possession — a Range Rover, a BMW, a Fortuner and a Pajero.
His annual income amounted to approximately Rs 1 crore. Additionally, his wife owned 3.1 kg of gold valued at Rs 94.5 lakh, while Dheeraj Sahu himself possessed diamond jewellery valued at Rs 26.16 lakh at that time.
Furthermore, he had made an advance payment of Rs 2.32 crore for a villa in Delhi.
According to the affidavit, Sahu had invested capital in Baldeo Sahu Shiv Prasad Sahu – a family-owned company – amounting to Rs 2.5 crore, and in Baldeo Sahu and Sons, he had invested Rs 2 crore, among other investments.
Congress may have distanced itself from party MP Dheeraj Sahu over the recent cash haul, but his family has a long-standing association with the grand old party.
As per sources, when India gained independence in 1947, Dheeraj Sahu’s father, Baldeo, donated Rs 47 lakh and 47 kg of gold to the Government of India to strengthen the country’s economy.
Dheeraj Sahu had five brothers, of which four, including him, entered politics. One of his brothers, Shiv Prasad Sahu, was a Lok Sabha MP and won the Ranchi seat twice on a Congress ticket. He died in January 2001 at the age of 67. Another brother, Nandlal Sahu, has also passed away.
Gopal Sahu, another of Dheeraj’s brothers, contested the 2019 elections from Hazaribagh on a Congress ticket but was defeated. Another brother, Uday Sahu, remains associated with the Congress.
Dheeraj Sahu contested twice for the Chatra seat in Jharkhand but could not win. In June 2009, he was elected to Rajya Sabha in a by-poll and was re-elected in July 2010.
He became a Rajya Sabha member for the third time in May 2018.
During the tenure of Shiv Prasad Sahu, the family held considerable sway and the Congress’s candidates for parliamentary and legislative elections, as well as ministerial positions, were decided on their recommendations. He was also close to Indira Gandhi.
The Sahu family has consistently played a crucial role in supporting the Congress party both financially and in electoral politics, particularly in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga and the neighbouring districts.
The family’s ancestral home is often referred to as the ‘White House of Lohardaga’.
The primary business of Dheeraj Sahu’s family is centred around the liquor industry, with most of their companies located in Odisha.
There are no criminal records under Dheeraj Sahu’s name yet.
Meanwhile, an old tweet of Sahu is doing the rounds in which he had written about corruption under the BJP.
BJP’s Amit Malviya shared a screenshot of Dheeraj Sahu’s old tweet in which he exclaimed how there still was so much black money in the country even after demonetisation. “Dhiraj Prasad Sahu has a dark sense of humour,” Malviya tweeed.
“I feel pained seeing so much corruption and black money in the country even after noteban. This is beyond my understanding how people can accumulate so much of black money. Only Congress can uproot corruption from the party,” Sahu tweeted in 2022.
“Imagine how much one Congress MP has looted that it takes almost an army of personnel to count the loot. Now multiply it with Congress’ 60 years of power & 1000s of MPs. It runs into tens of thousands of crores. Congress is corruption ki beemari! The disease of corruption,” BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said.
Union home minister Amit Shah also questioned the silence of the INDIA parties like SP, DMK, JDU. “It can be now understood as to why the allegation against the Modi government that it is misusing investigation agencies was made.It was because of the fear that their corruption will be exposed,” Amit Shah said.
PM Modi too earlier commented on the massive cash haul and said it was PM Modi’s guarantee that every penny had to be returned to the public.
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