Income Tax raids against Karnataka minister disrupt Rajya Sabha, Congress questions timing
The Income-Tax raids against a Karnataka minister on Wednesday morning was raised in the Rajya Sabha, with the Opposition blaming the NDA government of misusing state agencies.
I-T sleuths conducted searches at a Bengaluru resort where 42 MLAs from Gujarat are staying since July 30 and the properties of minister D K Shivakumar. Rs 5 crore in cash was recovered from Shivakumar's residence in Delhi, according to news agency PTI. His room at the Eagleton Golf Resort, where the MLAs have been staying, was also searched.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma questioned the timing of the raids. "It is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state. This minister was coordinating the stay of the Gujarat MLAs, that is why it is a targeted timing," he said in the Rajya Sabha.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley countered him saying the minister "parked himself" in the resort and the area is not immune to conduct searches. "No MLA has been seached. A particular individual had to be searched. He had parked himself in that resort. As of now, they have taken him into his residence. No search or tax officers are at the resort. A Minister of Karnataka has been searched. The resort is not an immunity area. He has been taken to his residence and questioned there," Jaitley said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said the houses of BJP leaders indulging in horse trading need to be searched. "Conduct raids on residences of those people from your party (BJP) who are offering Rs 15 crores," he said.
The House was briefly adjourned after members of the Opposition trooped to the Well of Deputy Chairman P J Kurien and raised slogans.
The I-T, however, claimed that the raids were planned well in advance, "The timing of the search was decided well in advance. The events involving certain MLAs of another state being brought to Karnataka were unforeseen and unpredictable events," the department has claimed.