IT raids: Cong, JD(S) leaders protest outside IT office in Bengaluru

Political News, State, (Bengaluru), March 28:-Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has gone on protest at the I-T department office in Bengaluru after officials swooped down on many JD(S) leaders across Gowda strongholds of Hassan and Mandya on Thursday.

Kumaraswamy was flanked by several Congress leaders, including his deputy G Parameshwara, Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar.

“The IT Dept has to work independently but it’s working on the instructions of Modi and Amit Shah. After BJP came to power, it has become like a dictatorship. Do you think the IT Director in Bengaluru is innocent? I also have a lot of records,” the CM said, adding that the director had several apartments in Mumbai.

He claimed that the I-T department director had an “internal understanding” with the BJP and was promised a Governor post after his retirement, which is due in three months.

His protest came hours after he expressed serious apprehensions about the Income Tax raids on his party men being politically motivated.

Hundreds of I-T officials conducted search and seizure operations across these two districts from where JDS supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda’s grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy are contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

A furious Kumaraswamy has blamed PM Modi for the raids. In a tweet he has levelled serious charges against Karnataka-Goa IT commissioner Balakrishnan, saying that he is harassing BJP’s political opponents for a post retirement Constitutional post.

Terming the raids as PM Modi’s “real surgical strike”, the CM had warned he would use tactics like Mamata Banerjee against any move by the centre to use the government’s organs for political vendetta.

Last month, the Bengal chief minister had staged a sit-in after a CBI team arrived at former Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar’s residence to question him in chit fund scam cases.

Kumaraswamy’s elder brother and PWD minister H D Revanna has launched a blistering attack on I-T department and the Prime Minister.

Condemning the IT raids, he said, “Who is Modi? Deve Gowda is not scared of him. Our people will show them their right place. We will follow Mamata Banerjee’s model if the BJP does not stop IT raids”.

He even described IT chief commissioner Balakrishnan as a stooge of BJP. “The same officer gives a clean chit to BS Yeddyurappa in 24 hours. He is harassing us. Let him go to Yeddyurappa’s house as a bonded labourer. He is a disgrace to the post”.

According to reports, more than 300 I-T officials are conducting raids on the offices and houses owned by the businessmen and contractors close to JDS. The angry JDS supporters are protesting blocking the Bengaluru-Mysore highway.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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