Arun Jaitley: Karnataka I-T raids not connected with Gujarat polls

DN Bureau

"This raid should not be linked with any Gujarat poll, this is on a purely economic offence," Jaitley said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Thursday with Opposition party calling the Karnataka Income Tax raids a political scheme by the Bharatiya Janata Party, to which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley responded saying the raids have no connection with Gujarat polls.

"This raid should not be linked with any Gujarat poll, this is on a purely economic offence," Jaitley said.

Congress although has claimed this to be a political ploy saying that the raids can't be a coincidence.

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"It has become a brazen trend to use state power and agencies, whether it is the income tax department or the CBI," Congress leader Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

He further said that the raid was an attempt to "poach" 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs who are currently under the shield of Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar's resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

Arun Jaitley has denied this and said that the "use and abuse of power" will depend on what the I-T department recovers.

On the other hand Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that if the raid was to be done only on the person then why wasn't it done a month before or a month after.

To which Jaitley said that that the authorities had to confront the Minister with the recovery and hence had gone to the resort to get him to his residence.

"In that resort where your MLAs are staying, no search has taken place and no MLA has been searched," he added.

"This was done so he could be adequately questioned by the authorities," the Finance Minister said.

The I-T department recovered around Rs 7 crores from Shivakumar's properties that it found to be questionable.

The Congress on the other hand said that there was a clear connection between the raids and the upcoming elections in Gujarat for three Rajya Sabha seats.

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I-T department on the other hand says that this was a pre-planned raid.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday dubbed Income Tax (IT) raids at residence of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar as 'undemocratic'.

"It's against the grain of democratic policy to use IT raids. BJP uses raise against people who raise voice against it," said Siddaramaiah.

The IT officials on Wednesday morning raided Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar's residence and at a private resort in Bengaluru where 44 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat are staying.(ANI)

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