Reacting for the first time after the Income Tax department raided several properties in Karnataka and Delhi in connection with a tax evasion case, Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar on Saturday said he was innocent and added that he has nothing to hide from anybody.
However, Shivakumar refused to answer probing questions about the raid and said, "Only after I get the entire panchnama and the documentation will I speak to you."
I am going to a temple now, then to the resort where our MLAs are waiting. Will talk to you (media) later: D.K. Shivakumar,Karnataka Min pic.twitter.com/ANGNCtLCqo
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 5, 2017
"I'm not the kind of person that violates the law and the Constitution...the truth will come out," Shivakumar said after emerging from his residence in Bengaluru. The powerful Vokkaliga leader thanked the media and political leaders across party lines for their support during the time of the raid.
"I would like to thank leaders across the country who stood by me in the crisis," he said, adding that he won't let his party down.
When asked whether the I-T searches were complete, Shivakumar said, "You saw the officials walking out. I don't know." When asked about the raids in other places, the heavyweight minister said, "I have got to know that it (raids) has happened at 70 or 80 places only through you (the media). Please find out yourself."
When asked what his next course of action will be, Shivakumar said that he will be visiting a temple and then meet the Gujarat MLAs kept in the Bengaluru resort.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too defended his minister, calling the I-T raids as political vendetta by the Centre led by the BJP.
"If they (BJP-led Centre) have information about the irregularities, then they have the right. But the raids were conducted as part of BJP's politicalvendetta," the chief minister.
If they have info about irregularities,they have the right.But they are doing with political intention,it is political vendetta:Siddaramaiah pic.twitter.com/EM85tykpos
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 5, 2017
As per rule they can't bring CRPF, it is purely a politically motivated move, shows mentality of BJP: Karnataka CM on IT raids on Shivakumar pic.twitter.com/4QbA3Ns6jY — ANI (@ANI_news) August 5, 2017
In a raid that raised a political storm, the IT department had on Wednesday conducted searches at 64 locations and properties linked to Shivakumar. I-T officials said about Rs 10 crore in cash had been recovered during the search at properties linked to the minister.
Shivakumar has been put in charge of 44 MLAs lodged in the resort, to keep the flock together for preventing the BJP from “poaching” them ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat where Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is facing a tough battle.
Official sources had said the raids that began early Wednesday morning went on till late in the night with the minister being grilled at his residence at a posh locality in Bengaluru.
The I-T raids continued on Thursday for the second consecutive day, with sleuths seizing a number of documents, account books and financial papers.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Aug 05, 2017 13:25 PM | Updated Date: Aug 05, 2017 13:25 PM