Updated: October 13, 2021 11:12:21 am
Raids were carried out by Income Tax officials over five days at multiple premises across four states, including ones linked to a former aide of B S Yediyurappa, in what is seen as a fresh bid to check the veteran who is at loggerheads with the BJP leadership.
Officials claimed to have unearthed Rs 750 crore in undisclosed income in the raids, held between October 7 and 11, on civil contractors allotted irrigation projects in Karnataka. Among those raided was Umesh Ayanur, a former Transport Department employee who was made secretary to the Chief Minister under Yediyurappa.
Sources said over the weekend, Ayanur, who continued to be in the CMO, was moved back to the Transport Department.
Allegations have been made of widespread corruption in the award of irrigation contracts under Yediyurappa. The Congress has claimed kickbacks amounting to Rs 18,500 crore.
The I-T department said searches were carried out on 47 premises linked to three major contractors based out of Bengaluru. It said the three “were involved in suppression of their income by resorting to bogus purchases; inflation of labour expenses; booking of bogus sub-contract expenses etc”.
“The search and seizure actions (against) these three groups have resulted in detection of undisclosed income of about Rs 750 crore. Out of this, an aggregate amount of Rs 487 crore has been admitted by the respective group entities as undisclosed income.”
In 2020, the Mysuru unit of the Congress had named Ayanur as one of the 25 individuals calling the shots in the Yediyurappa government.
BJP MLC A H Vishwanath, who was among those to have alleged corruption in the award of irrigation contracts when Yediyurappa was the CM, on Tuesday welcomed the I-T searches.
JD(S) leader and former CM H D Kumaraswamy said: “The reason behind the I-T department searches will be apparent to those who understand politics. It has been done to curb Yediyurappa.”
Amid rumours of meetings between Yediyurappa and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi said the reason for the I-T searches was that Yediyurappa “is now seen as being in the Opposition” rather than the BJP.
Congress leader V S Ugrappa addressed a press conference, where he said there was a “Rs 18,500 crore scam” with kickbacks “going to the state and Centre”.
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