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Congress in Kartanaka urges President Kovind's intervention against ongoing I-T raids in the state


Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Saturday wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention against the ongoing Income Tax raids against the Congress and JD (S) leaders, terming it as a political vendetta by the BJP against its rivals at the time of elections.
"'We request you to direct the Income Tax department to desist from conducting raids in the interest of free and fair elections," Rao said in the letter. "The ruling party in power at the centre is misusing the office of the Commissioner of Income Tax of Karnataka and Goa circle, whose integrity is doubtful and who is inimically disposed towards Congress and JD(S). The said officer acts as BJP agent by his candid actions," he wrote. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for misusing its power against Congress and JD(S), Rao said: "In the month of February 2018, the union government headed by Narendra Modi misusing its power, directed the Income Tax Department to conduct raids on Ministers, Ex-Ministers, MLAs belonging to Indian National Congress and its Candidates, supporters and workers and it continued till when the elections was in full swing till May 2018 in an attempt to prejudicially affect the election prospects of Indian National Congress Candidates."Rao claimed that several complaints were lodged to the Election Commission by JD(S) but no "actions were taken or initiated".He added that during elections to Karnataka Legislative Assembly, the Income Tax Department raided the residence of Congress candidate Bhimanna Naik, following which, he was confined to his residence for three days and he was not able to campaign. Similar has been case with other candidates contesting against the BJP. "It is obvious that these acts were at the instance of the party in power at the centre abusing its power and misusing the Income Tax Department with an intention that Indian National Congress party should not come to power. These acts are politically motivated at the instance of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister who are at helm of affairs," he said. Rao alleged that BJP chief Amith Shah is trying to destabilise the government by offering allurement to some of the MLAs belonging to Congress and JD (S). "Ever since the formation of coalition government by Congress and JD(S), the Bharathiya Janatha Party in Karnataka at the instance of leaders of the central government and its party president Amith Shah is trying to destabilise the government by offering allurement to some of the MLAs belonging to the coalition partners and have attempted to engineer defections," Rao said.This comes two days after the Income Tax (I-T) department said that it has seized Rs 1.66 crore cash in raids across Karnataka. A total of 24 premises were searched said the I-T department who said that locations of 13 contractors and four engineers are being searched. "Certain searches are being carried out by the income tax department in Karnataka Goa on contractors and connected persons. No MP, MLA or minister have so far been covered in the searches. These searches are being carried out on the basis of credible information received, the I-T department said in a statement," I-T Department said. Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara and other senior leaders from the JD (S) and Congress staged a protest outside the I-T department office. JD(S) supporters also protested on Masuru Road against the Centre and raised slogans against the BJP government.Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda claimed that the raids were political vendetta as the BJP wanted Kumaraswamy to form the government with their (BJP) support but he (Kumaraswamy) refused. "They (BJP) tried to persuade Kumaraswamy to form the government with the support of BJP. Before the election, they extended huge money for the expenditure of JD(S). They tried to persuade him to meet them in Mumbai where money was kept but Kumaraswamy refused to budge," he claimed.

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First Published: Mar 30 2019 | 11:38 AM IST

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