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Karnataka minister D KShivakumar today appeared before the Income Tax department officials at the IT office here in connection with the raids conducted at various properties linked to him last week. After being grilled by the officials for three consecutive days in connection with an alleged tax evasion case, the state power minister was issued summons to appear beforethe Income Tax department today for questioning. Shivakumar, who appeared along with his brother and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh, said the officials mightcall him again, whenever required. "The Income Tax authorities have every right to summonand question any assesse, businessman or individual. I have come here several times earlier also. They had asked me toappear anytime after 11 am, so I have come here," he said. He added that the IT officials discussed his earlier statement and treated him "very respectfully". "They are guiding me for my good," said Shivakumar. He added that the officials did not ask him to come tomorrowor the day after and said they would inform him whenever required. In a swoop down that has stirred a political controversy, the IT department, on August 2, began raiding various properties linked to Shivakumar, who hosted 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort on the city outskirts, to thwart the "poaching" attempts by the BJP ahead of tomorrow's Rajya Sabha polls in that state. Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress chiefSonia Gandhi, is a contestant in the election to the Upper House of Parliament from Gujarat. During the IT raids at about 66 places across the country, the officials said they had seized cash and jewellery, worth over Rs 15 crore. The IT department is yet to make an official statement regarding the outcome of the raids. Asked about the 'panchnama' (seizure list) and details of the reported recoveries made by the IT sleuths, Shivakumar said, "I have asked for it.
My auditor has to apply for it... They (IT officials) have asked us to apply in accordance with the procedure. I will ask my auditor to collect it." Not divulging any details of the raids, Shivakumar, soon after the raids ended on Saturday, had said he would speak to the mediain detail, only after getting the 'panchnama'. Astrologer Dwarakanath and MLC S Ravi, considered close to the minister, also appeared before the IT officials for questioning today.
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