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IT raids on DK Shivakumar 'undemocratic': CM Siddaramaiah

03 August 2017

Income Tax searches were conducted on Wednesday at the residences of Karnataka Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar and in a private resort outside Bengaluru where 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs have been housed, stoking a major political row that rocked Parliament and triggered cries of foul play by the Congress.

Questioning I-T sleuths accompanied by CRPF personnel coming to the resort where 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat are lodged, he alleged that there was political vendetta behind the raids. "It is a mere coincidence", said a senior official.

The Election Commission reportedly took up the issue of raid conducted on Karnataka minister, D K Shivakumar, on Wednesday August 2.

Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told media persons: "This is a very dirty trick of the BJP to win the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat".

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Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that the BJP-led Centre was resorting to IT raid in wake of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. PTI reported that Rs 5 crore was recovered during an IT raid at the Delhi residence of the Congress minister.

Shivakumar, is hosting his party's MLAs from Gujarat who have been brought to the Bengaluru resort till the day of the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8. Shivakumar's residence and the Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru. Certain investments linked to him in Singapore and few other foreign locations are also under the scanner of the department, they said.

The party has kept 43 of its legislators from Gujarat in Bangalore to prevent defections ahead of crucial Rajya Sabha election.

In a latest development, DK Shivakumar's relative's house in Mysore has been raided by the Income Tax Department officials. "The search team has no concern with the MLAs and there has been no contact with MLAs and the search team", the department said in a statement.

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The Income Tax Joint Commissioner said the search was in continuation of an investigation, which has been in progress for a considerable period of time. It said the searches were part of an evidence-gathering exercise.

The officials said the department has prepared a "panchnama" into the incident where the minister was allegedly found "tearing" pages of some loose paper sheets, when the taxmen came calling at the resort.

The party has accused BJP of poaching its lawmakers.

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