I-T sleuths threatening raided leaders to claim money belongs to me, Congress: DK Shivakumar

They accused the BJP government at the Centre of "tying the hands" of the Congress candidate by carrying out an I-T raid on his associates.


Published Apr 25, 2024 | 10:56 AMUpdatedApr 25, 2024 | 4:50 PM

DK Shivakumar

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Wednesday, 24 April, said the Income Tax (I-T) department officials were conducting raids targeting the Congress, ahead of Lok Sabha polls, and are threatening leaders who faced raids to claim that money belongs to him and the party.

The state Congress president also claimed that the department is working like “BJP agents”.

I-T sleuths on Wednesday conducted simultaneous raids at some locations in and around Bengaluru, belonging to businessmen and associates of prominent political leaders ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

“The Income Tax department is being used to target only Congress party people, they haven’t got money from anyone. Income Tax people are threatening everyone to say that money belongs to Shivakumar, Congress money,” Shivakumar said.

Read: BJP-JD(S) will win all 28 seats, says BS Yediyurappa; challenges Cong to name PM candidate

‘To obstruct campaign’

The I-T department could not find any cash in any of the raids on our party workers, Shivakumar said, adding this was a deliberate ploy to obstruct the Congress election campaign.

“They (I-T sleuths) are specifically targeting the Bengaluru Rural district fearing election loss,” he added.

Shivakumar’s brother and present MP DK Suresh is the Congress candidate from Bangalore Rural, which goes to the polls on Friday.

Meanwhile, Congress workers staged a protest against I-T raids on Suresh’s close associate in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The party workers raised slogans against the BJP for the I-T raids on the house of Gangadhar, a former councilor and an associate of Suresh.

They accused the BJP government at the Centre of “tying the hands” of the Congress candidate by carrying out an I-T raid on his associates.

“Gangadhar has a lot of land and is wealthy. There are a lot of wealthier people in BJP but no I-T raids are conducted on them. The I-T department is targeting associates of DK Shivakumar and D K Suresh to obstruct their campaigning,” the protesters accused.

IT raids were also carried out at the houses of Gottigere Block Congress President Sridhar, Suresh’s personal secretary Sujay, Chandru, Lakshman and Babu, according to sources close to Shivakumar.

‘Works like BJP agents’

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Shivakumare said, “They (I-T sleuths) have to do searches for an hour or so and go back; instead, people are being forced to sit with them for an entire day, not allowing them to be involved in election activities. I did not expect such politics from the Income Tax.”

“Let them go, do searches. Did they go to anyone from BJP? Don’t they know where BJP is distributing money? Is there no list? You (I-T) have kept people for watch, what are they doing? Like BJP agents you are working. Yesterday at three or four places our Congress leaders specifically from Bangalore Rural segment were targeted,” he added.

According to sources, the search on Wednesday was focused on places belonging to a prominent leader who organised campaign rallies for the Congress.

Also Read: ‘Not getting support from BJP’: Deve Gowda raises concern ahead of polling 

Accuses PM Modi

He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making certain statements recently against the ruling Congress in the state, out of “frustration.”

“But, they will fail once again here (in Karnataka). I have already said they won’t get double digits here,” he said. Karnataka has a total of 28 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Slamming Modi over his ‘mangalsutra’ remark, the KPCC chief sought to highlight the alleged spike in gold prices under his rule and said, “(the issue is) women are unable to wear mangalsutra (unable to afford gold)…not mangalsutras being snatched by the Congress.”

Reacting to Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s “inheritance tax” remarks, Shivakumar said, no such things have been decided in the party, and it is not the party’s stand, and “we will not allow it.”

“This is India. Already Jairam Ramesh (Congress’ in-charge Communications) has spoken on behalf of the party. There is no such tax, what is there in this country, our traditions and practices, will continue…what we have said in our manifesto that’s all, nothing other than that,” he said, as he tried to distance the party from such remarks.

(With PTI inputs)