BENGALURU: The Income Tax (I-T) raids on Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and his relatives’ properties that have kicked up a political storm in Karnataka ended on Saturday morning. However, the investigators and the minister are tight-lipped about the seizures made during the raids that lasted for over three days.Over 200 I-T officials were part of the raids at 64 locations, including the minister’s residence in the national capital and a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru where 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat are holed up fearing poaching attempts from the BJP ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections.
Timing of the raids came under severe criticism from the Congress that termed it as politically motivated. While, the party leaders took up the issue in the parliament, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at BJP National President Amit Shah accusing the party of using Income Tax officials to intimidate the Gujarat Congress MLAs huddled in the luxury resort. Siddaramaiah’s outburst came in the backdrop of statement from the Gujarat MLAs that the I-T officials threatened them at gun point to return to Gujarat and tried to lure them with offerings of `15 crore per MLA to change their loyalty. Shivakumar, who was not allowed to step out of his house from last three days by the I-T officials, said he will not let down his party leaders and will continue to be with the Gujarat MLAs.
“I do not want to comment about whatever has been seized, it may be the documents or the money seized from my Delhi house. I will only respond once I get probe report,” the minister said. Shivakumar’s relatives, and even his astrologer’s house in Bengaluru were also raided. According to unconfirmed reports, around `10 crore in cash, documents related to financial transactions and land records were recovered from properties linked to the minister.