The Income Tax (IT) department is conducting massive raids at the residence of several Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders in Karnataka. It is alleged that nearly 200-300 officers were brought from several states to conduct the raids.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has termed this as revenge politics organised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against Congress and JD(S). He also alleged that the offer of a constitutional post to the IT Director General BR Balakrishnan has helped the Prime Minister in his revenge game. The coalition partners have also called the ongoing raids as a political gimmick.
The raids are still going on at several places belonging to the politicians, including Minor Irrigation Minister CS Puttaraju, a key man for the party in Mandya. The raids were conducted at his nephew Ashok's house in Mysuru.
Puttaraju has blamed actress-turned-politician Sumalatha for the IT raids. He said that the raids are being conducted after she complained to the Election Commission (EC) about the state government misusing power.
On Thursday, the IT sleuths raided the office of BM Farooq, a businessman and JD(S) MLC, on Residency road. The authorities also stopped his staff from entering the premises.
They also raided the houses of close aides of Public Works Department (PWD) Minister HD Revanna and PWD office in Hassan. The house of a PWD contractor in Chikamagaluru was also searched by the department.
The JD-S leaders have slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the raids. In a tweet, Kumaraswamy said that PM Modi was conducting a surgical strike through IT raids.
"PM @narendramodi's real surgical strike is out in the open through IT dept raids. The constitutional post offer for IT officer Balakrishna helped the PM in his revenge game. Highly deplorable to use govt machinery, corrupt officials to harass opponents during election time," the tweet read.
The former CM and Congress state chief, Siddaramaiah, also slammed the BJP by calling it the most coward party in the world. He said that the opposition is trying to intimidate and demoralise supporters during the election time.
Deputy CM G Parameshwara also reacted to the IT raids saying that the BJP is trying to threaten the coalition partners ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
On Thursday, Congress and JD(S) leaders organised protests near the IT office in Queens road. HD Kumaraswamy, HD Devegowda and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao took part in the protests.
While the Congress has been seriously slamming the BJP over the IT raids, BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa told media that the leaders of the coalition government should not worry over the raids if they are innocent. He also slammed the minor irrigation minister for his allegation on Sumalatha.
Former Deputy CM and senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa said that Kumaraswamy is unfit to be a CM. "He had got the information about the IT raids and alerted the thieves before the raids," Eshwarappa said.