A team of Income Tax officials conducted raids at the residence of JD(S) leader and Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister C S Puttaraju and his nephew in the early hours of Thursday, PTI reported. The development comes a day after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy raised fears about possible raids on Congress and JD(S) leaders in the state allegedly on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Interestingly, the I-T dept chose CRPF personnel as security instead of the state police force.
The raids were conducted at Puttaraju’s Chinnakurli residence in Mandya and his nephew’s house in Mysuru. The minister said that he was not afraid and the incident has instilled confidence in him. “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,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Sources in the Congress told PTI that at least 10 to 15 raids have been carried out in the city and elsewhere.
Reacting to the development, Kumaraswamy tweeted, “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.”
PM @narendramodi‘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 harrass opponents during election time.
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) March 28, 2019
On Wednesday, Kumaraswamy had hinted about the possible raids on the important leaders of the JD(S)-Congress alliance in Karnataka during election time. “Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi is misusing the Income Tax Dept to threaten the political leaders of Karnataka from JDS and Congress during election time. They have planned to conduct IT raids on our important leaders. This is nothing but revenge politics. We will not be cowed down by this,” he said in a tweet.
Hon’ble PM @NarendraModi is misusing the IncomeTax Dept to threaten the political leaders of Karnataka from JDS and Congress during election time
They have planned to conduct IT raids on our important leaders.This is nothing but revenge politics.We will not be cowed down by this
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) March 27, 2019
Puttaraju has been assigned to oversee the election campaign of Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, who is fighting his maiden election from the Mandya Lok Sabha seat.
Kumaraswamy had warned that he could follow what Mamata Banerjee did in West Bengal to counter the ‘misuse’ of central agencies. Banerjee 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.