Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy has lashed out the central government alleging misuse of central agencies, as Income Tax raids were carried out in several locations in south Karnataka. Criticising the raids as politically motivated and a 'revenge game', Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda along with Congress leaders will stage a protest in front of Income-Tax office at Queen's Road in the city at 2 pm.
Kumaraswamy who had earlier accused prime minister Narendra Modi of misusing the I-T Department to threaten JD(S) and Congress leaders tweeted on Thursday morning:
"PM @narendramodi's real surgical strike is out in the open through IT dept raids. The constitutional post offer for IT officer Balakrishna helped the PM in his revenge game. Highly deplorable to use govt machinery, corrupt officials to harass opponents during election time."
Several teams of Income-Tax officials are conducting searches on the residence and offices of JD(S) minister CS Puttaraju, MLC B M Farooq and other JD(S) leaders in Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysuru. While some of the raids in Bengaluru had commenced on Wednesday evening, others were launched during the early hours of Thursday.
The residences of minor irrigation minister C S Puttaraju and his relatives are being searched in Mandya and Mysuru from Thursday morning. Similarly, the office of Farooq at Residency Road and his residence at Shanthinagar in the city are being searched.
On Wednesday night, residences of five businessmen said to be associated with the Congress and JD(S) were raided in South Bengaluru at around 10 pm.
Even as the coalition partners termed the raids as politically motivated, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said that it has become a habit for the coalition to blame CBI and I-T departments.
KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao said that I-T department had not acted against BJP leaders after Operation Kamala 2 after Yeddyurappa assured crores to the coalition MLAs. "This reflects Modi's agenda - which is to not have an opposition in the country," he said.