Income Tax (IT) sleuths on Wednesday began conducting raids at the official residence of Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar and at a private resort near here where 44 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat are staying, said an official.

No search has taken place in the resort as such and no MLA was searched

According to reports, a team of 10 tax officials, along with personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, raided the resort at around 7am this morning. The team also raided Kumar’s brother Dr K Suresh’s residence.

Raid was also being conducted at the house of Congress lawmaker N Ravi in the city’s southern suburb.

“As the searches are on, we cannot give details now,” said an official.

It may be mentioned that the Congress legislators were flown to Bengaluru from Ahmedabad and lodged in the posh resort at Bidadi, about 30 km from here, ostensibly to prevent the BJP from poaching them ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha by-poll in which its senior leader Ahmed Patel is contesting for the fifth term from Gujarat.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government. “After using state machinery and every other agency, these I-T raids show their utter desperation and frustration,” he said. He also tweeted that the BJP is on an unprecedented witch-hunt just to win one Rajya Sabha seat.

It may be mentioned here that according to an Association for Democratic Reforms report on crorepati ministers in 29 states and two Union territories, DK Shivakumar is listed as the second richest minister in the country with assets worth Rs 251 crore.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of indulging in “political vendetta” after tax raids were carried out at a Karnataka minister’s residence and at a private resort near Bengaluru, housing 44 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat.

Lashing out at the BJP, senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge told reporters: “It’s political vendetta. When the elections are going on then raids at their premises is not good.”

While raising the issue of IT raids at the resort where the Congress Gujarat MLAs were staying, Congress member Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha that it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state.

“No search has taken place in the resort as such and no MLA was searched, only one particular Karnataka minister was searched as he took refuge in the resort to avoid quizzing by the IT authorities in connection with raids conducted at his residence and 39 other locations,” said leader of the House and Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley in reply to Anand Sharma’s allegation.

In reply to Jaitley’s statement, the leader of opposition Gulam Nabi Azad said that the government has conducted raids on residences of those people from our party and not on BJP who has been indulging in unethical practice by offering Rs 15 crores to Congress MLAs for defecting.

Earlier, slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters: “This is a very dirty trick of the BJP to win the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat.”

“Earlier attempts were made to bribe the Gujarat Congress MLAs. And when everything failed, the frustrated BJP government was now resorting to IT raids on the Congress,” Surjewala said.

A raid was also being conducted at the house of Congress lawmaker N Ravi in Bengaluru’s southern suburb.


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