Misuse of probe agencies

A string of raids by the income tax (I-T) department since March – which started with searches on the premises of people linked to the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka – and the latest sweeps at the homes of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s aides has spooked the opposition. Earlier, the opposition leaders were raided by the I-T department in states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The opposition parties have been crying foul, alleging that such raids are politically motivated.
On the other hand, the ruling government claims it has no role and the I-T department is working independently. But there is no denying that these kinds of raids on opposition politicians and people connected to them just before the elections raises the suspicion of the possibility of the misuse of tax sleuths by the ruling establishment. Why did the I-T department wait till the elections arrived to conduct such raids? Agencies like the CBI, the enforcement directorate, the I-T department, etc, have always been accused of being misused by the ruling establishments. When it was in the opposition, the BJP used to accuse the Congress of using the CBI to target opposition leaders. There was hope that the saffron party would bring reforms and make the probe agencies more independent. But the situation has only worsened under the present regime. It’s unfortunate that all the parties, when they come to power, start misusing investigating agencies to further their political fortunes. When they are in the opposition, they talk differently, and when in power act just the opposite.