NEW DELHI: THE Opposition Congress on Wednesday disrupted both Houses of Parliament protesting the I-T raids against Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, claiming an atmosphere of fear was being created ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.
Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha and finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Upper House that no search operation was conducted at the resort in Karnataka where Gujarat Congress MLAs are camping to avoid attempt of poaching by rival groups in view of the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections.
The Karnataka minister had “gone and parked himself” at the resort, was picked up from there and taken to his residence for questioning. “The resort is not an immunity area.....and the minister is being interrogated,” Jaitley said amid slogan shouting by the Congress members.
Responding to the allegation that the government is abusing power through agencies like the CBI, ED and IT Department, Jaitley said, “Whether it (the raid) is of use or abuse will depend on the recoveries (during the searches).”
Jaitley also asserted that searches by the I-T Department were being conducted at 39 other places and not only at the resort in Bengaluru. The Leader of the House also said that the searches “should not be linked to the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.”
As soon as the Rajya Sabha began its business for the day, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma raised the issue claiming an attempt was being made to “derail and hijack” the elections to the Council of States and the raids were “targeted”.
Sharma also questioned the timing and place of the raids.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that the elections to the Rajya Sabha be held without fear, in a free and fair manner.
“But this election (in Gujarat) all these three things are not happening,” Azad said, Congress MLAs were being “abducted” and “this is against democracy.”
Questioning the timing of the searches, Azad why it was “taking place today and not a month later or before.”
Meanwhile, not satisfied with the response in the lower House, the Congress members staged a walkout from the House lamenting that the government failed to give an assurance of not engineering defection from Opposition parties by using money and muscle power for the Rajya Sabha polls.