Karnataka IT raids: Not even Rs 10 unaccounted money seized, says CM

Bengaluru: “I was watching the television, (where it was claimed that) crores of rupees were found. Did your income tax officers get even Rs 10? Why did they go for it (raids)? It was intentional,” said Karanataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy yesterday about the ongoing IT raids in the State.

Many political leaders residences across Bengaluru, Ramanagara, Kanakapura, Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan and Shivamogga were targeted by the Income Tax officials.

Following this, the CM staged a protest in front of the I-T department on Thursday. It is to be noted that it is first such protest by the State chief minister in the recent past.

The Centre was resorting to politics of vengeance using the income tax officials as its agents alleged the CM. Instead of State police, the I-T has brought in CRPF soldiers, which is unfair, said the CM. “I know the game income tax officials are playing at the final stage of election. They should be cautious because if they think that they can function like the agents of a political party forever, they may end up repenting,” he said in a stern message to I-T officials.

Reacting to the news, the Congress’ Karnataka unit wanted to know whether I-T, Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation were the arms of the BJP-led Central government to win elections.

Kumaraswamy had also warned the BJP-led NDA government that he would follow what his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee did if it tried to intimidate the Congress-JDS coalition partners in the State.

He sought to know why the BJP leaders were spared from the raid and only Congress and JD(S) leaders were targeted. “Whom did they raid? Did they raid the houses of BJP leaders? Are the BJP leaders poor? Do they seek vote by prostrating without giving money?” the chief minister said.

Dinesh Gundu Rao, Congress state unit president, wrote to President Ramnath Kovind alleging that the raids were conducted to create a fear among the voters and requested the President to direct the income tax department to desist from conducting raids in the interest of free and fair elections.

NT Bureau