Updated: August 3, 2017 9:13:14 pm
Income Tax department officials seized cash and jewellery worth over Rs 15 crore during searches at properties linked to Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and his associates. The raids had begun early Wednesday morning in connection with an alleged tax evasion case. More than Rs 7 crore in cash had been recovered from the minister’s Delhi residence in Safdarjung.
A political storm had erupted when the Eagleton Golf Resorts in Bengaluru, where Shivakumar was overseeing the stay of the 42 Gujarat Congress MLAs, was among the 60 premises that were searched by tax officials in connection with the case. The Congress questioned the timing of the raids and asked BJP why the resort was targeted where the Congress MLAs were holed up to avoid being poached by the BJP in their home state, especially ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls.
The Congress, which rules Karnataka, disrupted parliamentary proceedings in the Rajya Sabha and staged a walk out of Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
However, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, denied any connection of the raids with the Rajya Sabha election.
“There has been no search (operation) at a resort… nor has any Gujarat MLA been searched by the department… there has been no contact (of the tax department) with them,” he said.
“It is true, a search has been conducted on a minister of the Karnataka government and his associates… The man whose house was being searched reached the resort. Since a person continued on who was raided had to be confronted with the recoveries made from his premises, the tax department personnel got to the resort where he had been hiding. He was taken from there to his house. There is no tax department official at the resort,” he added.
On Wednesday, the minister’s homes in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, his constituency Kanakapura and properties belonging to his brother and Congress MP DK Suresh were also searched by tax officials. The Congress minister had declared wealth of Rs 251 crore in his 2013 election affidavit. He is an influential leader from the Vokkaliga community and is a six-time MLA in the state.
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