Furious over the recent Income Tax (I-T) raids on his partymen and a top I-T official seeking action against him, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “worse than Hitler”.
The Janata Dal (United) leader is apparently upset over the recent statewide I-T crackdown on his partymen and others and the state Income Tax Commissioner’s letter to the Election Commission (EC) seeking legal action against him and the Congress and JD(S) functionaries who protested against the action outside the I-T department in Bengaluru.
“Modi is a dictator — a man worse than Hitler. He is the worst prime minister who brought a bill to confiscate the personal properties of individuals,” Kumaraswamy told his supporters on Tuesday night.
Principal Chief I-T Commissioner (Goa-Karnataka region) BR Balakrishnan has written to the state chief electoral officer, seeking action against Kumaraswamy and others for allegedly intimidating I-T officers and obstructing them from discharging their duties during the raids.
He has also demanded that cases be registered against all those who took part in the protests for unlawful assembly, intentional insult, breach of peace, criminal intimidation and threat of injury to public servant under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Kumaraswamy fumed over the I-T official’s letter, which also sought action against Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, state minister DK Shivakumar, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and other Congress and JD(S) functionaries who took part in the March 28 protest.
Kumaraswamy had led the protest outside the I-T office on Queen’s Road in Bengaluru following the raids, alleging that the Modi government was using central agencies to target the opposition as part of its politics of vendetta.
“Where is Balakrishnan, who sent notices to us?,” the chief minister asked, adding that the I-T official sent 300 people to raid the premises of certain contractors from Hassan, Mysuru and Mandya, who belonged to the JD(S).
“He is threatening us. He has written a three-page letter to the EC,” he said.
Kumaraswamy sought to know why only the contractors of Mandya, Mysuru and Hassan were targeted.
“Aren’t there contractors in other districts? Where else did the I-T officials go? I am not the one who is going to be scared,” he said.
Defending those from whom unaccounted cash was found, the chief minister said the money found from the contractors was meant for the routine work of the state government and was supposed to be released in their favour before March 31.
“It was not accumulated for spending in the election,” he added.
Kumaraswamy accused Balakrishnan of nurturing ambitions to bag a gubernatorial position post-retirement and alleged that hence, he was acting like a BJP agent.
“Will Modi remain tethered to a peg in Delhi? He is out to make Balakrishnan governor in June post his retirement. That is the reason why he (Balakrishnan) is working like a BJP agent,” he said.
The chief minister alleged that Balakrishnan’s letter to the EC was typed at the BJP headquarters.
On the basis of the letter, he said, certain BJP leaders went to the governor seeking prosecution against him.
“I too have documents to prove that money belonging to the people of Karnataka was drawn and deposited in some people’s accounts,” Kumaraswamy said.
A BJP delegation, led by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, submitted a memorandum to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday seeking action against Kumaraswamy for claiming to have prior information about the I-T raids.