Bengaluru, Aug 2 Income Tax sleuths on Wednesday began searching the residence of Karnataka Minister D.K. Shivakumar in the city and a luxury room he was staying at a private resort here, an official said.
“Our state investigative wing is conducting searches at the residence of a Karnataka Minister (Shivakumar) and the room he is staying at a resort (Eagleton) near Bengaluru where some MLAs from another state (Gujarat) are put up,” said Income Tax Joint Commissioner S. Ramesh in a statement here.
The searches were being conducted under Section 132 of the Income Tax Act as an evidence gathering exercise in compliance with the statutory requirements.
“The search is the continuation of an investigation, which has been in progress for a considerable period of time,” asserted Ramesh.
Clarifying that the timing of the search was decided well in advance, Ramesh said the events involving certain MLAs of another state (Gujarat) being brought to Karnataka were unforeseen and unpredictable.
“Our search team has no concern with the MLAs and there is no contact between the team and the MLAs. The Minister’s room alone was beibg searched,” added Ramesh.
The search at the state Power Minister’s posh residence in the city’s upscale suburb and his deluxe room at the resort caught the ruling party in Karnataka unaware and led to strong condemnation.
“It’s a political vendetta by a desperate party (BJP) and its governments in the state (Gujarat) and in Delhi to frighten the opposition,” party’s state unit spokesman Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters here.
The Congress had flown its 44 Gujarat lawmakers from Ahmedabad on July 29 and lodged them in the resort at Bidadi, 30 km from here, ostensibly to prevent the BJP from poaching them ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha by-poll in which its senior leader Ahmed Patel is contesting for the fifth term from Gujarat.