New Delhi, April 29: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday hit out at Congress over its accusation that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was tapping phones of several Karnataka ministers to get details of their strategies for the May 12 Assembly Elections. Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy had blamed BJP chief Amit Shah saying, “For the past fortnight, the tapping is happening for almost 18 hours a day. There are teams from Gujarat, Jaipur and Delhi involved in the activity and boys associated with BJP and its affiliated organisations are working in these teams from Karnataka.”Also Read - Arjun Singh, BJP Lok Sabha MP & Former West Bengal BJP Vice-President, Rejoins TMC

Terming it a lame excuse, BJP’s spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi hit out at ruling Congress party and said, “Karnataka ministers saying their phones are being tapped by BJP is hilarious, this is nothing but a lame excuse for their impending defeat,” Trivedi told ANI. (Also Read: Karnataka Opinion Poll: Congress to be Single-largest Party in Hung Assembly) Also Read - Qaidi No. 241383: From Waking Up At 5:30 AM To Working For 8 Hrs, How Life In Patiala Jail Looks For Navjot Sidhu

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Besides phone tapping Reddy had also alleged that while phone tapping was in progress on the one hand, the Centre has been using the Income Tax department to intimidate Congress leaders and their supporters.

“There is nothing wrong in raiding those who are evading taxes but when people like Congress MLA and candidate from Anekal B Shivanna are targetted, it becomes even more evident that the centre was trying to harass them. What did the I-T sleuths get from the raids on Shivanna’s premises? A mere Rs 4.75 lakh. I-T has been used to intimidate Congress leaders and their supporters,” Reddy had claimed.

Notably, Karnataka will go to polls on May 12 and the results will be declared three days later on May 15. The 224-member Assembly expires on May 28 in the state where the Congress is currently in power, with 122 seats against the BJP’s 43. The major national parties contesting the elections are Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal and Janata Dal (Secular). Apart from that, several regional parties like Coorg National Council, Kannad Chalavali Vatal Paksha, Karnataka Congress Party, Karnataka Kranti Ranga and Karnataka Vikas Party are influential among their respective castes.