The Income Tax (I-T) department continued to raid the premises linked to Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar in Delhi’s Safdarjung area for the third consecutive day on Friday.
While Shivakumar's brother claimed that the cash recovered by the I-T department did not belong to their family, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dubbed the raids a "politically motivated" move on the part of the Centre.
Income Tax raids continue at the premises owned by Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar in Delhi's Safdarjung area. pic.twitter.com/NTR5i76IdG
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 4, 2017
Late on Thursday, the I-T sleuths had also reached Congress leader Lakshmi Hebbalkar's door.
Bengaluru: IT officials have reached residence of Congress leader Lakshmi Hebbalkar(close aide of Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar)
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 3, 2017
Asserting that the family was backed by Siddaramaiah, the Karnataka minister's brother DK Suresh said that he had spoken to their mother, who had been under pressure since the raids began, reported ANI. Their mother had earlier held Siddharamiah responsible for the raids. "Siddaramaiah has always been sharpening the knife against my son. He could be behind the I-T raids," The Times of India quoted Gowramma as saying in Kanakapura taluk,
The Lok Sabha member on Friday also said that his party colleagues had extended their support to the family since their's was a case of "political vendetta". However, speaking to ANI, he rejected that the money seized belonged to Shivakumar's family.
They have raided total 70 places. That all money doesn't belong to DK Shivakumar or family: DK Suresh, brother of DK Shivakumar pic.twitter.com/8c1MspJLUJ
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 4, 2017
Raking up the issue of I-T sleuths using CRPF during the searches, Siddaramaiah slammed the BJP for calling it a fight against corruption, saying most of its own leaders were facing graft charges.
"There are corruption charges against so many BJP leaders in Karnataka. Is Yeddyurappa (Karnataka party chief) not facing corruption charges?" he said.
During the searches with a case of alleged tax evasion, I-T officials said they have seized cash and jewellery worth over Rs 15 crore so far. "This is a politically motivated raid; the timing also clearly shows that it is politically motivated," Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.
He said, "I'm not against the raid or search on any house, but the time that they have selected and the intention of the central government and the I-T department."
On Wednesday, Siddaramaiah in a statement had charged that the I-T department action was an attempt to silence the voice against BJP.
Asked whether he feels that Shivakumar will come out clean, the chief minister on Friday said, "We do not know what has happened, what they have found during the searches. But according to me, it is a politically motivated."
"He is a minister. Taking reserve police to his house and other places is not fair," he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao launched a veiled attack against the chief minister on Twitter.
DK Shivakumar's mother says CM Siddaramaiah hates her son. Bengaluru buzz: Sidda is rejoicing raids on rival DK & may have leaked details. https://t.co/gCEHentnh2
— GVL Narasimha Rao (@GVLNRAO) August 4, 2017
In a swoop down that has raised a political storm, I-T sleuths began its searches on Wednesday at various properties in Karnataka, Delhi and Chennai connected to Shivakumar. The Vokkaliga community leader, who is one of the wealthiest ministers in the country, is hosting 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The resort stay has been viewed as Congress' attempt to stall BJP from poaching their ministers ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.
Already six of the 57 Congress MLAs in Gujarat, from where senior party leader Ahmed Patel is contesting for the Rajya Sabha, have resigned from the party in the last few days with three of them joining the BJP.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 16:28 PM