Income Tax (I-T) officials conducted searches at more than 60 locations in Karnataka, including establishments of mining barons and ministers Reddy brothers, and BJP legislators close to them on Monday.
The operation comes at a time when allegations are afloat that huge sums of money excha-nged hands during the ruling BJP’s attempts to woo opposition MLAs after the survival of its government was threatened following the withdrawal of support by 16 MLAs .
The MLAs were disqualified by assembly speaker KG Bopaiah and the Karnataka High Court is hearing a petition against their disqualification.
I-T officials also searched the house of Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu, a
confidant of the Reddy brothers — tourism minister G Janardhan Reddy and revenue minister G Karunakar Reddy.
The searches were conducted in dozens of houses and offices in Bangalore, Bellary and Hospet. Similar searches were reported from the Reddys’ establishments in Hyderabad.
Officials also searched establishments of BJP MLAs Suresh Babu and B Nagendra, both from the iron ore-rich district of Bellary, the political stronghold of the Reddy brothers.
State BJP spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar described the I-T operation as “an attempt to destablise the government by targeting only BJP legislators”.