‘PM Modi’s real surgical strike’: Kumaraswamy on I-T raid at minister’s home
Hours after Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said he had information that the Income Tax department was set to conduct searches on leaders of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, minor irrigation minister CS Puttaraju confirmed that the raids had begun at his residences from the early hours of Thursday.
Puttaraju said his family home in Mandya district had been raided and that there were similar searches that were being conducted in Mysuru and elsewhere.
Watch: IT dept raids Karnataka minister CS Puttaraju’s residence in predawn swoop
“My house in Chinakurali village has been raided, mine is a joint family so it is a raid on me,” he said.
Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that he is playing a “revenge game”.
Karnataka Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said the IT department has become “a political wing of the BJP.”
“It’s now clearly established that the IT Dept is now a political wing of the BJP. Congress & JDS leaders/supporters are and will be wilfully targeted. Abuse of power & position for political gain is the norm for #ModiShahGoondaRaj,” Rao wrote on Twitter.
No confirmation was given by the I-T department about the number of locations raided even as unconfirmed news reports filtered in of raids in Hassan and Mysuru districts as well.
Kumaraswamy had said on Wednesday that he had information that the I-T department had sought the support of Central Reserve Police Force personnel, rather than the state police as was the practice.
“Around 300-350 Central CRPF personnel have been brought here from different states to conduct raids. Are we indulging in vengeance politics or is the Bharatiya Janata Party?” Kumaraswamy had asked.
Kumaraswamy said he had information that 300 taxis had been readied to pick up the personnel.
“To stoop so low to scare us, we haven’t done anything we haven’t committed any crime. At this late stage, during elections, the games being played by the I-T department... we know what they are playing at. If they think they can work as the agents of a political party they will have to face the consequences,” he said.
Kumaraswamy said that usually, the I-T tax utilised the state police force for raids.
“Getting the CRPF personnel from outside to conduct raids... This will not continue for long and they should realise it,” he said. “I am not protecting anybody and I will not allow vengeance politics of any kind here. If they continue in this manner I will have to protest like West Bengal chief minister [Mamata Bannerjee].”
State BJP spokesperson S Prakash condemned the statements by the chief minister.
“This is Kumaraswamy’s style, which is to not allow officials to do their duty. The I-T department is an independent authority,” he said. “The department’s raid means they will check the books of some persons. So, there is no need for alarm if there is no wrongdoing involved,” he said.