Mayawati's comparison baseless, misleading: Lalu

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (UNI) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today took strong exception to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's statement wherein she compared her income tax cases with those against him, saying such an observation was ''baseless and misleading''.

Mr Prasad said no legal case involving gifts had been filed against him as had been done in the case of Ms Mayawati.

''The statement of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister is absolutely baseless and misleading. She is holding a responsible post. Before making allegations against me and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukehrjee, she should have verified the facts,'' the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president told UNI.

At a press conference in Lucknow today, Ms Mayawati charged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government with targeting her through the Income Tax department by filing a politically-motivated case of Disproportionate Assets (DA) in the Delhi High Court.

Ms Mayawati said the case concerned assessment year 2003-04 when she did not pay any tax on two non-movable properties given through a registered gift deed and Rs two lakh which was gifted to her through an account payee cheque.

She said the Income Tax Tribunal had given the decision in her favour, but the IT department moved the High Court in order to put pressure on her.

Giving examples of the role of the IT department in similar cases against Mr Mukherjee and Mr Prasad, she said the department did not go to the High Court after the tribunal passed orders similar to those given in her case.

''The IT department's move in the High Court against me proves that undue pressure was mounted on them for political reasons,'' she asserted.

Reacting to the statement, Mr Prasad said Ms Mayawati was levelling charges against the Centre through baseless allegations.

''She has made the allegation through a written statement. Those who have prepared the statement should withdraw it and action be initiated against them,'' he demanded.

Mr Prasad said cases were filed against him and his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi in connection with assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

''Mrs Rabri Devi and I had submitted to the Income Tax department a detailed statement about our incomes from dairy, mills and agricultural lands, and it was found correct by the department,'' he said.

''There is no similarity in cases against Ms Mayawati and me,'' he said.


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