Karnataka: IT Department Conducted Raids At Premises Of People Linked To JD(S); Congress Cries Foul
Just 48 hours before the Lok Sabha elections on April 18, the IT department officials conducted massive raids in Karnataka’s Mandya and Hassan parliamentary constituencies. The move drew sharp criticism from the political parties who accused the central government of using state agencies to intimidate them as the poll dates are nearing.
IT Dept conducted raids
The IT Department in a statement said, “The searches being conducted today are based on credible intelligence input that certain businessmen have earned income not disclosed to tax and are in possession of undisclosed assets.” It also added that those who were raided were involved in real estate, quarrying, stone crushing, government contracts, petrol stations and saw mill operators and managers of cooperative banks, reported LiveMint. The coordinated raids were reportedly conducted on premises owned by people allegedly linked to JD(S) in Mandya and Hassan districts of the southern states.
According to The Economic Times, Karnataka election authorities and Income Tax officials in a joint operation have seized nearly Rs 1 crore from the house and vehicle of the BJP functionaries in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Meanwhile, Congress and JD(S) functionaries in the state have cried foul and have dubbed the recent raids as politically motivated. Reportedly, the JD(S) said that the BJP is targeting the family of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna, whose aides were allegedly raided.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah questioned the timing and asked, “Why have you chosen election time to conduct raids?” Let them raid Yeddyurappa, Ashok, Eshwarappa, Jagadish Shettar and Shobha Karandlaje’s houses as well. Why is that you can only see JD(S) and Congress leaders?”.
Raids in Tamil Nadu
Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, Senior DMK leader and party chief MK Stalin’s sister, Kanimozhi, said that the BJP cannot stop her from winning the elections. This comes after the IT department conducted raids on Kanimozhi just two days before the run up to April 18 polls. NDTV reported her as saying, “BJP cannot prevent my success through this income tax raid. The raid is anti-democratic, deliberately planned and tested, and no document has been seized.” After the raids, IT sources said that it was a “false tip” and no case has been registered in this regard.
On April 16, the IT sleuths raided the house where the DMK leader was staying after it reportedly received a tip-off from the local administration. While Kanimozhi cooperated, the IT sleuths found nothing. They were looking for stashes of cash. Recently, the IT department conducted raids across 18 departments in Tamil Nadu, most of which were against the leaders of the opposition, reported NDTV.