Income Tax Department Raids Karnataka Energy Minister's Premises

The Income Tax sleuths conducted raids at multiple properties of Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar.

Gohil, himself a Gujarat MLA camping here, claimed he has a video clipping that contradicted the government's version that the place where MLAs are lodged was not searched. "The resort is not being raided", the officials said. "It is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state", Sharma said.

The I-T Department also seized Rs 5 crore cash from Shivakumar's residence in the national capital, sources said.

He maintained that the timing of the search was decided well in advance, and that it had nothing to do with Gujarat Congress MLAs being brought to Karnataka.

Hitting out at the Centre for the raids, the Congress party said that it was a political "witch hunt" against its leaders while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the I-T move was against corruption. "The Minister's room alone was beibg searched", added Ramesh.

"It's a political vendetta by a desperate party (BJP) and its governments in the state (Gujarat) and in Delhi to frighten the opposition", party's state unit spokesman Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters here.

Speaking to the media here Gohil said, "Our morale has become strong now and our only plan is to vote for Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha election on August 8". Shivkumar is in-charge of hospitality for all Congress Gujarat MLAs staying in Bengaluru. "After using the state machinery and every other agency, these I-T raids show their utter desperation and frustration", said Mr Patel, who is Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political adviser.Responding to the Congress's allegation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in parliament: "Don't link the I-T raids to Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. The Income Tax department is being used to threaten them as well as a Minister of Karnataka", Kharge said, as members from the treasury benches raised their pitch in protest. Three MLAs joined the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll.

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