The income tax department on Wednesday conducted raids against Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar at various locations, which also included a resort near Bengaluru where Congress MLAs from Gujarat are being stationed. The raids were conducted at the residences and various offices of the minister, which also included that of his brother DK Suresh, who is a member of Parliament. I-T officials said about Rs 10 crore cash has been recovered during the raids at various properties linked to the minister, who was taken to his house in Bengaluru from the resort by the taxman early on Wednesday.
The I-T raids drew strong condemnation from the Congress-led government in Karnataka, with chief minister S Siddaramaiah tweeting that it was a clear case of political conspiracy and the presence of paramilitary forces was condemnable. “Investigation must always follow due procedure to unearth truth. Violating rules exposes the political motivation behind raids,” the chief minister said. The surprise raids by the I-T department comes at a time when Shivakumar has been put in charge of hosting the 40-odd Congress MLAs from Gujarat who are temporarily put up at a Bengaluru resort, to prevent their possible switchover to the BJP. The elections for the Rajya Sabha in Gujarat will be held on August 8 and a few MLAs from the Congress have already switched over to the BJP. This has triggered the move by the Congress party to move all its MLAs to Bengaluru temporarily.
However, the I-T department stated that the raids were conducted against one individual and the presence of the Gujarat MLAs was unforeseen. “The timing of the search was decided well in advance. The events involving certain MLAs of another state being brought to Karnataka were unforeseen and unpredictable events,” a statement from the I-T department said. Shivakumar is an important minister in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet and represents the powerful Vokkaliga community in the state.
With agency inputs