BENGALURU: I-T raids just seven weeks before the crucial bypolls to 15 assembly seats smacks of vendetta, and has eroded the sanctity of such raids, Congress leaders said on Thursday. With the raids directed against Congress leaders — former DyCM Dr G Parameshwara and former MP RL Jalappa -- the party is questioning the intentions of the ruling BJP.
“If I-T raids are conducted, no one has a problem, but this is drama, it is good for theatre. I have been chairman of the standing committee in Parliament, where the CBDT chairman and others were questioned. What is important in raids is facts and hard evidence, not fanfare. These are politically targeted raids, it is abuse of the I-T department. These raids are carried out in the backdrop of by-elections,’’ said former Union minister Veerappa Moily.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah called the raids “politically motivated”. “The series of IT raids against Dr G Parameshwara, RL Jalappa and others are politically motivated with malafide intentions. They are only targeting @ INC Karnataka leaders as they have failed to face us on policy and corruption issues.’’
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal also said that it was a political conspiracy. “I-T is busy targeting former DyCM of Karnataka @ Dr Parameshwara. We are law-abiding citizens in the country. Once again a staged political conspiracy is being carried out before the by election.’’
According to former minister HK Patil, “Congress leaders are being targeted to tarnish our image. This type of political harassment is not good for healthy democracy.’’
Former Bellary MP VS Ugrappa said, “They raided D K Shivakumar when he sheltered Gujarat Congress MLAs during the election of Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel. When MLA Srinivas Gowda said in the House that Rs 5 crore was given to him by BJP leaders, present Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan and others, why was it not taken up for investigation by I-T or ED? Or when Rs 1,000 crore was spent putting up this government through Operation Kamala?’’
KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre said, “It is politically motivated. BJP will face the effects of these raids.’’ Congress’ former ally JDS was surprisingly quiet after the raids.