BENGALURU: Income-tax officials conducted raids on the properties of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman Lakshman in multiple locations across Bengaluru on Tuesday. His residence and office in Sadashivanagar, and two properties in Basaveshwarnagar were raided by the officials. The raids continued till evening. Before being appointed as KSPCB chairman, Lakshman was a realtor.
Reacting to the raids, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said they were politically motivated. “The BJP-led Union government is using the I-T department as a tool against political opponents, and Congress leaders are being targeted. However, its plans to score political gains by misusing the department will not succeed. People can seethrough the game plan,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.
Why no I-T raids on BJP leaders, questions Siddu
Why target only Congress leaders, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Tuesday referring to the I-T raids on the properties of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman Lakshman in multiple locations across Bengaluru.Pointing out that senior BJP leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha himself had expressed displeasure about using I-T department to target political opponents, Siddaramaiah questioned as to why I-T sleuths were not raiding the houses of BJP leaders like B S Yeddyurappa, Shobha Karandlaje or Jagadish Shettar.
Siddaramaiah said he had no objection to the raids, but only Congress leaders shouldn’t be targeted. Over reported preparations for raids on IAS and IPS officers said to be close to Siddaramaiah, the latter said: “They are government servants. They cannot be classified as close to the Chief Minister or opponents of the Chief Minister.”Lakshman is said to be close to Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, who was also raided by I-T sleuths recently.
CM may hit back at Shobha
Even as BJP State President B S Yeddyurappa has turned the heat on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by alleging huge irregularities in purchase of coal for thermal power plants, the CM is preparing to hit back by fast-tracking the probe into the alleged financial irregularities in purchase of power during the previous BJP regime when Shobha Karandlaje was the Energy Minister.
The House Committee headed by Energy Minister D K Shivakumar is probing a complaint from former CM H D Kumaraswamy about the alleged purchase of power to the tune of `28,000cr violating norms during the BJP regime. Shivakumar has convened the next meeting of the committee on October 30. Kumaraswamy has been asked to attend the meeting to provide further details to substantiate his charge. The committee is expected to meet Kumaraswamy at his residence if he cannot attend the meeting since he is recuperating after a heart surgery.