New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday launched a scathing attack on PM Narendra Modi after Income Tax officials and CRPF personnel carried out raids at the residences of state Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju and his nephew. “PM Narendra Modi’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,” the chief minister tweeted again this morning.

The development came a day after, Kumaraswamy raised fears about possible raids on Congress and JD(S) functionaries in the state. He had claimed that CRPF personnel were brought from various parts of the country to carry out the raids.

Yesterday, the Karnataka CM had warned that he would follow Mamata Bannerjee’s footsteps to counter the ‘misuse’ of central agencies for political vendetta before the upcoming polls. Notably, the Trinamool supremo had staged a “Save the Constitution” dharna from February 3 to 5 in Kolkata after the CBI’s failed bid to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund cases.

Kumaraswamy-led Karnataka government claimed that the Centre was using the income tax department only to harass leaders of Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state.

Earlier in the day, Income Tax officials and CRPF raided the residence of CS Puttaraju in Mandya district and his nephew’s in Mysuru. “Raids are underway in the premises of some businessmen in Bengaluru and other places in the state for alleged tax evasion, non-disclosure of income sources and non-filing of tax returns,” the official told IANS on anonymity.

Speaking to a private news channel Puttaraju said,”I’m not deterred by the raids, which are election related. I would like to know which BJP leader’s house in Karnataka has been raided?”

According to a report, the JD(S) has assigned him to oversee the electioneering of HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who is fighting his maiden election from the Mandya Lok Sabha seat.

Karnataka will vote in the Lok Sabha elections on April 18 and 23. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.