In an unprecedented event, Dhiraj Sahu, a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Jharkhand for the Congress party, finds himself embroiled in a controversy of epic proportions. A recent raid by the Income Tax Department on his country liquor businesses in Odisha resulted in the seizure of a staggering Rs 290 crore in cash - the largest cash seizure by any agency in a single operation in India.
A Liquor Business Away from Home
Interestingly, Sahu maintains no liquor businesses in his home state of Jharkhand, citing unethical business practices as the reason. The MP's liquor business in Odisha, however, has been operating since 1994-95 with annual license renewals. This raises questions about the financial practices he follows and the ethical standards he upholds, given the significant amount of unaccounted cash uncovered.
The incident has provided fodder for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to lambast the Congress party for corruption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a stern stance, promising that the seized money, which he described as 'looted,' will be returned to the public.
A Career in Politics and Business
Sahu commenced his political journey with the Congress in 1977, and has since been elected to the Rajya Sabha three times. Over the years, he has served on various parliamentary committees, and has raised numerous issues in the Rajya Sabha regarding public welfare and industry safety. Aside from politics, Sahu's family is involved in multiple business sectors. In 2018, Sahu declared assets worth Rs 34.47 crore, with no criminal cases filed against him up until now.
The investigation into the seized cash is ongoing, and its implications on Sahu's political career and the Congress party's reputation remain to be seen. However, the case serves as a stark reminder of the need for transparency and ethical practices in both business and politics.