Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Bengaluru: IT Department raids resort housing Gujarat MLAs, Karnataka minister's house

Bengaluru: IT Department raids resort housing Gujarat MLAs, Karnataka minister's house

The tax department said its officials visited the Eagleton Golf Resort near Bengaluru only in connection with Karnataka minister, DK Shivakumar of the Congress, who was staying at the resort, tasked by the party to look after its Gujarat guests.

The Congress had rushed the lawmakers to Bengaluru late on Friday night after six MLAs quit the party in Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha election and the state polls later this year.

On Tuesday, Congress leader Madhusudhan Mistry had alleged that his party MLAs were being "kidnapped" and offered "Rs10-15 crore" with a view to influence their vote in the 8 August elections to send three members from the state to the Rajya Sabha.

According to ANI, the raids began around 7 AM on Wednesday. Congress leaders called the entire episode "witch-hunt".

"It is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse the powers of the state", Congress MP Anand Sharma said, calling it "targeted timing".

The resort is located in the Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Congress lawmaker D.K. Suresh, younger brother of Shivakumar, a lawmaker from the Kanakapura assembly segment in the district.

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

The raids triggered anger from the Congress, which accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party of carrying out "an unprecedented witch-hunt", and said it would raise the issue in both houses of Parliament later in the day. Rs. 5 crore in cash has been found in the minister's Delhi home, officials say.

I-T officials also visited the Eagleton Golf Resort where the minister was staying with Gujarat Congress MLAs.

Patel, who is also Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, is re-contesting the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat.

"Our search team has no concern with the MLAs and there is no contact between the team and the MLAs".

The minister was whisked away from the resort after preliminary questioning.

He said after BJP resorting to IT raids after it failed to bribe legislators in Gujarat.

Opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress, Left and other outfits joined the Congress, as the anti-BJP camp tried to portray the raids as part of the government's politics of vengeance.

Congress lawmaker N. Ravi's house in Bengaluru's southern suburb was also searched.

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