BENGALURU: Income tax personnel raided 39 offices and residences belonging to Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar and his brothers on Wednesday morning. The I-T department visited Eagleton resort near Bengaluru where Shivakumar was present. The 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs are housed there, under the minister's care.
D K Shivakumar is fronting the Congress effort to protect Gujarat Congress MLAs from poaching by the BJP ahead of the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election on August 8. The I-T Department denied that the raids had anything to do with the ongoing anti poaching drama at Eagleton resorts.
As per news agency PTI, I-T officials claimed of recovering Rs 7.5 crore cash from the minister's properties.
Over 200 officials are involved in the searches, which are being conducted by the Karnataka Investigation Wing of the Income tax department.
Here is a rundown of what happened:
6 - 6.15 am: I-T officials conduct simultaneous raids at various properties of Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar, including at his offices in Delhi.
His Bengaluru residence, office and Eagleton Resort, where he was staying along with Gujarat MLAs, also raided.
10.45 am: IT officials question Shivakumar along with his brother, MP D K Suresh and MLC S Ravi, who were at the resort. They are taken to Shivakumar's Sadashivanagar residence for questioning.
Congress MPs shout slogans in protest in Rajya Sabha, forcing an adjournment till 2 pm.
"Don't link IT raids on Karnataka minister to Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat," said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha. He also confirmed that no I-T searches were conducted at the Eagleton Golf resort.
12 pm: Protestors raise slogans, prevent the I-T Department's vehicle carrying Shivakumar from entering his house.
12.15 pm: Shivakumar taken to his house for questioning. Meanwhile, I-T officials continue to question Eagleton Resort personnel and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Karthik Kiran, who was also at the resort.
12.45 - 1 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah says, "I-T raid is an attempt to silence voice against BJP, will not bow down to intimidation.
Police detain close to 100 supporters protesting in support of Shivakumar.
2 pm: Gujarat Congress MLA and spokesperson of 44 MLAs lodged at Eagleton Resort, Shaktisinh Gohil, requests the Supreme Court to take suo moto action and send a sitting judge of the Court to the resort. Says: "When the man who gave us shelter can be subjected to raids, then the common man will be afraid to even ask for a glass of water."
2: 30 pm: Water resources minister M B Patil says, "I am next in the line of target. BJP is misusing the IT department to achieve its political objective of curbing its rivals. I am anticipating the raids soon on my premises as state BJP leaders are targeting me politically."
(With inputs from PTI)