The Income Tax raids on various businessmen and contractors, which the coalition government has described as ‘selective’, concluded on Thursday.
Following the raids, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao wrote to the President of India, requesting him to direct the Income Tax department to desist from conducting raids “in the interest of free and fair elections.” In Mandya, Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju, whose ancestral home and relatives were searched, levelled serious allegations against Sumalatha. He said that she had convinced BJP president Amit Shah to conduct the raids with the help of actor Rajinikanth.
I-T officials had concluded the raids against the confidants of Public Works Department Minister H D Revanna and Puttaraju by Friday evening. However, sources indicated that some searches might have continued and would end by the late hours of Friday.
Among the targets of the searches were 13 contractors, officials of Public Works Department and businessmen. During the last two days, searches were carried out in Bengaluru, Mandya, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga.
Even though I-T officials are yet to reveal details of the seizures made during the massive raid, sources indicate that most of the officials had to return empty-handed as the contractors and others were already tipped off about the same.
The Income Tax Department is expected to provide more details on the searches conducted on Saturday.
Letter to president
After the coalition partners, including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and others staged a protest, Dinesh wrote to the president of India drawing parallels on the raids conducted in the last two days to the ones in 2018 during the Assembly polls.
“The ruling party in power at the Centre is misusing the office of the Commissioner of Income Tax of Karnataka and Goa Circle, whose integrity is doubtful and who is inimically disposed towards secular parties,” he wrote. He also urged the President to direct the I-T department to desist from conducting raids in the interest of free and fair elections.
The KPCC has also filed a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging political bias in the raids carried out.