Income Tax raids continue at Congress minister DK Shivakumar’s properties
Sources said cash was recovered from the operation, but the value was still to be determined. Officially, the department has not said if it retrieved any money.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 13:01 IST
Income Tax department officials continued for the second day on Thursday their raids on properties linked to Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar, who is in charge of hosting Congress MLAs from Gujarat shifted outside to avoid a break in their ranks.
Officials said 39 locations in Karnataka were being searched, in addition to some in Chennai and Delhi. IANS identified the Delhi properties to be located in Safdarjung and RK Puram.
According to sources, cash was recovered since the searches began at 7am on Wednesday, but there was no indication of the value. The department has not officially confirmed if it retrieved cash.
The raids on Shivakumar escalated into a political confrontation between his Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Congress raised the issue in parliament, forcing multiple adjournments in the upper house, and the BJP of carrying out “an unprecedented witch-hunt”.
The Congress legislators taken to Karnataka are crucial for the party’s prospects in a close Rajya Sabha election scheduled next week in which Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi, is seeking re-election.
The party saw a string of defections from its Gujarat cadre, prompting it to accuse the BJP of using money and muscle power to gain an advantage in the RS polls.
The raids on Shivakumar triggered protests by Congress members. On Wednesday, youth Congress leaders protested near Shivakumar’s residence in Bengaluru and outside the I-T office in Mangaluru.
Senior Congress leaders in the state were quick to condemn the raids, especially the use of paramilitary forces at the residence of the minister.
“I-T raids targeting energy minister D K Shivakumar is completely politically motivated and central government’s role behind it is well known,” chief minister Siddaramaiah said in a statement. He said, “It is not right on the part of central government to use I-T department for its political conspiracies. We will not bow down to such intimidation.”
(With agency inputs)