Bengaluru, August 2: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday seized Rs 5 crore cash from Karnataka Energy minister DK Shivakumar’s residence in the national capital, sources said. The I-T department conducted searches at multiple locations in Karnataka and Delhi related to Shivakumar in connection with a tax evasion probe case. The minister is hosting 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort near Bengaluru.
Officials privy to the raids said a team of I-T sleuths have reached the Eagleton resort to question the minister, who was staying at the resort for the night. “The resort is not being raided,” the officials said.
“Search team has no concern with the MLAs and no contact has been with the MLAs. It is again reiterated that I-T search is only on one Karnataka Minister,” sources in the I-T department said.
A total of 39 premises of the minister and his family are being raided by a team of about 120 Income Tax Department officials with the aid of central paramilitary forces, they said.
The Congress has cried foul and called it a BJP conspiracy to win the Rajya Sabha seat. “BJP has used every dirty and ugly trick to run a conspiracy to win Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat. Attempt was made to bribe legislators in Gujarat. When everything failed, a frustrated BJP government now resorting to I-T raids on Congress,” party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
The minister is hosting his party’s MLAs from Gujarat who have been brought to the Bengaluru resort till the day of the Rajya Sabha elections on August 8. The Congress MLAs were taken to the resort after six of their colleagues quit the party.
Six of the 57 Congress MLAs in Gujarat, from where senior party leader Ahmed Patel is contesting for the Rajya Sabha, resigned from the party in the last few days with three joining the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll. One of the Congress rebel MLAs is also contesting the Rajya Sabha elections on BJP ticket.
The party has apprehensions over Patel’s election prospects, if more MLAs defect. Patel needs support of 46 MLAs to win the Rajya Sabha election.
With inputs from PTI