The Union government is learnt to have defended the use of central police force during the Income Tax search on properties linked to Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar in its response to the Election Commission on Friday.
The Commission had sought a factual report from the government on Wednesday after a delegation from the Congress accused the BJP of misusing the CRPF to intimidate its Gujarat MLAs lodged in a resort in Karnataka ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.
According to government sources, the Centre responded to the EC on Friday saying that the use of CRPF during an I-T search is not unusual. The Gujarat government has also written back to the EC regarding its order to ensure the safety of all Congress MLAs and their family members from the state. The state has assured the EC that all measures were being taken for their security.
A political storm has been raging this week after the I-T department searched 60 premises linked to Shivakumar and recovered Rs 11 crore in cash as part of its probe into an alleged tax evasion case.
The Congress questioned the timing of the raid and accused BJP of misusing its resources as Shivakumar has been overseeing the stay of 42 Gujarat Congress MLAs in a resort near Bengaluru. Six MLAs have so far quit the Congress and three of them have joined the BJP in Gujarat.