Kejriwal backs colleague-turned-rival after IT raids over Nirav 'link'

Yogendra Yadav Yogendra Yadav | Facebook account of Yogendra Yadav

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday came out in support of Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav after Income Tax Department raids on the latter's family members and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi end his “vendetta” politics. Yogendra tweeted on Thursday that the raids on his relatives were continuing.

Yogendra was a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party with Kejriwal but was expelled from the party in 2015 and has often been critical of the Delhi chief minister.

"We strongly condemn victimisation of Yogendra Yadav's family by the Modi government through the use of agencies like IT. Modi government should stop such vendetta politics," Kejriwal tweeted.

On Wednesday, Yogendra, in a series of tweets, said that a hospital run by his sisters in Haryana's Rewari was raided by Income Tax Department officials.

"The Modi regime now targets my family. Two days after my nine-day padyatra in Rewari and launching of agitation for MSP and against liquor thekas, a massive IT raid is on at the hospital cum nursing home of my sisters in Rewari,” Yogendra tweeted.

"Please search me, my home, why target my family?" Yogendra asked in another tweet.

In another tweet, Yogendra said more than 100 officials from Delhi raided the hospital at 11am on Wednesday and "detained" all the doctors, including his sisters, brother-in-law and nephew, in their chambers.

"Hospital sealed, including ICU for new-born babies. A clear attempt to intimidate. Modiji you can't silence me," Yogendra said.

Interestingly, IT department officials cited a link to absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi in the raids on Yogendra's relatives. Nirav has been suspected of orchestrating the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, which has been valued at $2 billion.

According to IT department officials, Gautam Yadav, Yogendra's nephew, allegedly paid Rs 3.25 lakh in cash, out of the total Rs 6.50 lakh, for purchase of jewellery from Nirav's firm. The authorities claimed to have recorded Rs 22 lakh in cash from the residence of Gautam and his relatives.

"The current cash limit in the hand of a person is Rs 2 lakh and the source of this recovered cash amount of Rs 22 lakh is being probed," an official said.