The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of using investigative agencies to intimidate the opposition ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections after the Income Tax department searched the residences of a Karnataka minister in Delhi and Bengaluru. “The government is using the state and central investigative agencies by getting such raids conducted. How is this democratic? What sort of democratic values are these,” Leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad asked in the Rajya Sabha amid Congress protests. The Income Tax department early morning on Wednesday raided the residences of Karnataka Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar and the Eagleton Golf Resort in Bengaluru – where 44 Gujarat MLAs have been lodged since Saturday after some Congress legislators defected ahead of the polls for the Upper House.
The tax department conducted raids at 39 locations across Karnataka and Delhi. Azad questioned why the raids on Shivakumar were conducted now if the government knew he was involved in graft. Azad alleged that the BJP had offered Rs 15 crore in bribes to cross vote in Rajya Sabha polls. “Raid those in your party who tried to give a bribe of Rs 15 crore. There are allegations against your party, not us,” he said.
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Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “Timing of the raids is important and significant. If there were issues, notices should have been given to him (Shivakumar) if he was violating any law. “This minister (Shivakumar) and brother were coordinating for the Gujarat MLAs. They are being targetted. I am sorry to say this but it is not a coincidence.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, replying to Sharma and said: “Searches are on at 39 places. No search at the resort (in Bengaluru) took place. Only one individual who was there in the resort was searched.”