Bengaluru: In what seems to be a behind-the-scene political move, the Income Tax department has raided Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s chartered accountant. In a hush-hush move, the IT officials quietly moved into the home and office of chartered accountant HB Sunil in Kumara Park (West) snooping for files.
Many see this as a move to unnerve Kumaraswamy who is already under pressure from his alliance partner, especially Siddaramaiah and local Congress leaders. However, of late, he and his father HD Deve Gowda have emerged as key players in the Mahagatbandhan moves in Delhi to bring non-BJP parties together.
Rumour is rife in political circles that the BJP is a bit unnerved by the Mahagathbandhan and is keen to break the Congress-JD(S) alliance. The first mini Mahagatbandhan experiment in Bengaluru was a success with the BJP being kept away from power despite getting the highest number of seats in the recent Assembly elections. Hence, a small jolt in Bengaluru can shake up the Mahagatbandhan in the north. And the raids on Kumaraswamy’s Man Friday of sorts could be one of the ways to break the alliance.
This is the second time in three months that Sunil’s office and home is being searched by income-tax sleuths; the last raid was in May, during the Assembly elections. Sources said, the raids started on Tuesday and Sunil had not been allowed to leave the premises till late in the evening on Wednesday. Sunil has been the chartered accountant and a trusted aide of Kumaraswamy and other members of his family. All personal investments and business investments of the CM, those of his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy (she runs the Kasturi channel; and her declared net worth in 2013 was around Rs 36 crore) and son Nikhil (he is an actor) are handled by Sunil, sources said.
He is even said to have handled the JD(S) party fund mobilised by Kumaraswamy during the Assembly polls. Several Congress leaders, including Minister DK Shivakumar, close confidantes and relatives of KJ George, former ministers M Krishnappa, MB Patil and HC Mahadevappa had come under the I-T scanner prior to and during the Assembly polls. Shivakumar had accused the BJP of using the IT and other Central agencies to tame Opposition leaders while George had stopped using his own mobile phones fearing tapping. It is not clear whether the raids were politically motivated like those on the Congress leaders in the run-up to the Assembly or action on a purely suspected financial fraud.