Prime News, State (Bengaluru), November 7:-Karnataka Power Minister D K Shivakumar on Monday appeared with his family members before Income Tax department officials at the IT office here in connection with raids conducted at various properties linked to him in August.
Following the notice issued by the Income Tax department, Shivakumar along with his wife, daughter, mother and other family members appeared before the officials for questioning.
This was the seventh such appearance for the state power minister personally after his properties were searched for three consecutive days in the first week of August in connection with an alleged tax evasion case. “We have accepted the Constitution. I have said earlier I will abide by law and cooperate with Income Tax officials. As a responsible person I will for no reason hide the information that they require from me…” Shivakumar told reporters emerging out of the Income Tax office.
“As they felt that the information they had got is not sufficient, they asked my family to appear personally, also several of my friends and relatives about fifteen of them. They have taken statements from them,” he said. In a swoop that had 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 Rajya Sabha polls in that state. Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, was a contestant in the election to the Upper House of Parliament from Gujarat, which he eventually won.
To a question on whether he had been asked to appear as part of any strategy by the NDA government to fix him ahead of Karnataka assembly polls early next year, Shivakumar said, “Im not ready to say that is the reason.” “It is true that I had to go for party organisation work, but I could not have avoided this, because personal appearance along with family was sought,” he added. During the IT raids at about 66 places across the country, the department officials claimed 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. Noting that officials questioned family members individually, Shivakumar said he may have to appear again. “I have also informed them that I will have to attend the assembly session (from November 13 at Belagavi), as statements are still continuing…” he added.
Asked about reports that the case may be handed over to Enforcement Directorate for further inquiry, Shivakumar, calling himself an “open book”, said there was no reason for him to worry as he has been abiding by the law. Claiming that he has been working according to his conscience, the minister said his business and political life were different. “I have been in politics for a long time. I have seen several inquiries, several such struggles and investigations have happened. Whether it is IT or ED or CBI or any other agency.. they feel will have to enquire.. no one can stop it. There is no reason for worry also,” Shivakumar said. “I have been abiding by the law and will duly fulfil my responsibility as per law. If I have committed any mistake let them take action against me.”
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)