New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday asserted that the income tax raid at residence of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar have no links with Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. Jaitley, while addressing the Lok Sabha, said that the raids are being conducted purely on economic front. “This raid should not be linked with any Gujarat poll, this is on a purely economic offence,” said Jaitley.
However, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre was resorting to raid in wake of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. Kharge, defending his party in the Lower House, said that the ruling dispensation would not be successful in trying to pick on their party leaders.
“Just to defeat one Rajya Sabha candidate, they are doing all this, but they will not be successful,” said Kharge. Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha too, the Congress Party earlier today cornered the government over the Income Tax raids. The Rajya Sabha witnessed protests by the opposition against the “witch-hunt by the government”. Congress leader Anand Sharma said it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state.
“The minister and his brother, an elected representative coordinating in stay of Gujarat MLAs that is why it is a targeted timing,” said Sharma. Attacking the BJP, another Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Conduct raids on residences of those people from your party (BJP) who are offering Rs 15 crore.”
The IT department earlier in the day raided the residence of Shivakumar and the Eagleton Golf Resort in Bengaluru — where 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs are currently holed up. Earlier also, the Congress had accused the BJP in the state of horse-trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for August 8. This development came after at least six Congress MLAs in Gujarat resigned from the party to join the BJP.