I-T department raids end; officials have not found even B10: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy
The CM said that over 20 officials, in six groups had simultaneously raided the houses of Krishnegowda, Ashwath, Narayanareddy, Rayigowda, Syed Hafiz and Shivamurthy in different parts of the state.
BENGALURU/HASSAN : The Income Tax raids that kicked up a political slugfest between the ruling coalition and the BJP ended late on Thursday night. The officials seized cash and documents, including files related to tenders, work orders and details of payments attached to the construction of roads and bridges and a notebook having the details of names of the Class I contractors and payments during the raids on contractors and officials close to PWD Minister HD Revanna in Hassan. However, there was no confirmation from the I-T department about the seizures.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and other leaders of the JDS-Congress continued their tirade against the Centre and the I-T department. “What have they found? Not even 10 rupees,” an angry CM said about the raids.
Over 20 I-T officials conducted raids
Sources said over 20 officials, in six groups had simultaneously raided the houses of Krishnegowda, Ashwath, Narayanareddy, Rayigowda, Syed Hafiz and Shivamurthy in different parts of Hassan, Channarayapatna and Arkalgud taluks respectively. Interestingly, the I-T officials also have raided the residence and office of Manjunath, the ExecutiveEngineer of PWD Hassan where they reportedly have seized documents related to work and a notebook with names of contractors and payments.
According to sources, Ashwath, Narayanareddy, Shivamurthy and Krishnegowda, close associates of minister Revanna, were not in when the I-T officials visited their houses at 5.35 am on Thursday. Sources said that they stayed overnight elsewhere after they got information of the raid.The officials seized documents from a showroom owner, whose premises in Shivamogga too was raided on Thursday. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s brother and minister Revanna accused the Centre of targeting Deve Gowda family. “We cannot be in politics if we are afraid of such raids,” he said.
Prajwal Revanna, the coalition candidate of Hassan, said the I-T officials had purposely raided only the houses of JD(S) leaders and supporters ahead of the elections. Former CM Siddaramaiah too accused the BJP of targeting JD(S) and Congress leaders even during assembly elections.The BJP hit back at the JD(S) and Congress leaders saying they are trying to make an issue of out the raids when the department is only acting against the contractors and officials, not against any leaders.
BJP leader A Manju said the I-T department is an autonomous body and the officials never act at the behest of any elected representatives.“Why are the JD(S) leaders afraid of I-T raids? They don’t have to be afraid if they have maintained the accounts and filed income tax,” he added.The allegations made by the JD(S) leaders, including the CM and minister Revanna were politically motivated and they were trying to take the political advantage in this regard, the BJP said.