IT raid attempt to threaten Gujarat party MLAs

Raids On Karnataka Minister Resort Housing Gujarat Congress Lawmakers

I-T officials said a total of 39 premises of the minister and his family are being raided by a team of about 120 I-T officials with the aid of central paramilitary forces.

Meanwhile, the IT department continues to conduct raid at Shivakumar's house in the Safdarjung area in Delhi. The case being investigated is an old on; why did the IT department wait for us to come and then begin the raids? Shivakumar, who was looking after logistics of the accommodation of the legislators, has been confined to his residence following the raids.

While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that only the Karnataka Minister was questioned by the officials, the Congress alleged that four of its MLAs were interrogated by the CRPF.

The MLAs are holed up in Bengaluru because the party is anxious they might defect should they be allowed to return to Gujarat.

The raids coming ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat have angered the Congress. Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah alleged it was a politically motivated action to silence the voice against the BJP.

As the massive and much talked about Income Tax raids at the residences and offices of Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar concluded on Saturday, August 5, morning, he has finally spoken up on the search and said that he has nothing to hide.

The BJP's move is seen as an attempt to crucially cripple the Congress campaign and pin the taint of corruption on them, similar to what they themselves faced when raids were conducted on BJP leaders G Janardhan Reddy, B Sreeramulu and G Siddeshwara.

Congress' Gujarat Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel took a strong objection to the timing of the raids.

The search is a continuation of an investigation which has been in progress for a considerable period of time, a statement from the department said.

IANS quoted Jaitley as saying, "In that resort where your MLAs are staying, no search has taken place". When the I-T officials reached the resort, they found that he was trying to tear up some documents.

The ruling Congress in Karnataka will be holding a protest in the city later today against the raids on Shivakumar, accusing the Centre of "dictatorial" attitude and "murdering democracy". I will not let down my party and its leaders.

Earlier on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah questioned the timing of the I-T raids.

Alleging political vendetta Suresh said, "Our party and all senior leaders are extending support".