I-T raids on Karnataka Minister: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday conducted searches at several properties related to Karnataka Energy minister D K Shivakumar in connection with a tax evasion case, as per reports. Shivakumar has been looking after the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at Eagleton Golf Resort near Bengaluru since last week. IT sleuths said they have recovered Rs 7.5 crore cash during the search operations. Shivakumar has been taken to his house in Bengaluru from the resort by the IT team. As the raids on the resort evoked angry reactions from the Congress, the IT department made it clear that the resort is not being raided. Political secretary of Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, has termed these raids as witch-hunt by BJP to win one Rajya Sabha seat. Flaying the ruling dispensation at the Centre, Patel said that after using the state machinery and every other agency, these I-T raids show BJP’s utter “desperation and frustration”.
Congress spokesperson RS Surjewala claimed that BJP has used every dirty and ugly trick to run a conspiracy to win Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat. Accusing BJP of trying to bribe Congress legislators in Gujarat, he said when everything failed, a frustrated BJP government now resorting to Income Tax raids on the party.
The crucial Rajya Sabha polls will be held on August 8. BJP president Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani, Ahmed Patel have filed nominations from Gujarat.
Of the 57 Congress MLAs in the state, six resigned from the party in the last two days with three of them joining the BJP last week. BJP has also fielded former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput as its candidate. In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57. The desertions have cast a shadow on the fate of Patel in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, PTI reported.
Read Congress Working Committee member Ahmed Patel’s tweet
BJP is on an unprecedented witch-hunt just to win one Rajya Sabha seat
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) August 2, 2017
It has been learnt that of the total 11 RS members from the state, the term of three–Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel–is ending on August 18.
Watch this video
Income Tax officials raid 2 Karnataka ministers’ properties at Eagalten Resort in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/RzHpwFslde
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 2, 2017
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had denied the Congress claims last week. “This is the internal problem of Congress as its leader of opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela, its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput and spokesperson Tajeshriben Patel have quit as they faced difficulties. “They have taken their MLAs to Bangaluru as they do not have faith in their MLAs,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
A section of the Congress legislators claimed that seven MLAs decided against going with them to Bengaluru. The seven include Vaghela, who has already quit the party.
According to reports, Bengaluru was chosen as Congress has its government in Karnataka. A section of the Congress legislators had last week claimed that seven MLAs decided against going with them to Bengaluru. The seven include Vaghela, who has already quit the party, and his MLA son Mahendrasinh Vaghela. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had demanded that the Election Commission (EC) lodge a criminal case against the BJP for poaching its MLAs using “money and muscle” power.