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IT sleuths search Karnataka minister's house, resort suite in Bengaluru

02 August 2017

The opposition attacked the government in Parliament over the Income Tax Department's raids at Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar's residence and the Eagleton golf resort, where Congress MLAs from Gujarat are staying.

The issue of the alleged attempts by the BJP to lure Congress MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls had rocked the House earlier too.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said the houses of BJP leaders indulging in horse trading need to be searched.

The Gujarat legislators were flown to Bengaluru late on Friday night after it was said that the BJP was threatening them and even offering Rs 15 crore to support the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls, scheduled to be held on August 8.

The raids began at 7 am on Wednesday.

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He further tweeted, "After using the state machinery and every other agency, these I-T raids show their utter desperation & frustration". Congress leaders called the entire episode "witch-hunt".

The Congress think-tank should have avoided placing the MLAs from Gujarat in Karnataka as it has helped the ruling party's calculations.

Mr Sharma hit back saying, "Timing of search is questionable, especially when it's on the minister and his brother who have been coordinating the safety and stay of Gujarat MLAs". "It is again reiterated that the Income Tax search is only on one Karnataka minister", it added. Moments later, there were reports of I-T officials raiding the Eagleton Golf Resort, where 44 of the Congress Gujarat MLAs are being kept. The statement said the search team has no concern with the MLAs and there has been no contact between the MLAs and the search team.

The IT sleuths brought Shivakumar to the city from the resort to question him on the documents and a huge haul of cash that was found in his residence.

I-T officials said a total of 39 premises of the minister and his family are being raised by a team of about 120 Income Tax Department officials with the aid of central paramilitary forces.

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The BJP, which rules Gujarat with a big majority, will easily win two of the seats and has nominated its chief Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani.

"The resort is not being raided", the officials said.

"This is not fair in politics", he said.

Congress lawmaker N. Ravi's house in Bengaluru's southern suburb was also searched.

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