Karnataka: Taxmen raid JD(S) netas, CM HD Kumaraswamy screams vendetta

HDK leads coalition protest against I-T action before polls.

Bengaluru: With barely three weeks to go for the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the knives are virtually out with Income Tax officials swooping down on contractors and associates of JD(S) politicians including ministers for alleged tax violations even as ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition leaders alleged political vendetta by the BJP led government at the Centre.

Those raided include JD(S) leader and Minor Irrigation Minister C.S. Putturaju and his nephew at Mandya and Mysuru, associates of PWD Minister H.D. Revanna, who is the elder brother of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy calling the raids, Prime Minister Modi's planned "surgical strikes" against the Opposition.

The ruling coalition alleged that the IT raids were carried out on JD(S) leaders overseeing the elections of Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in Mandya and nephew Prajwal Revanna in Hassan.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy emulated his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and created history in Karnataka by launching a protest against 'intrusive' Income Tax officials outside the office of the Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax B.R. Balakrishnan. He is the first CM in the state to take up a protest of this kind. Mamata had protested recently against the Centre for sending CBI officers to Kolkata to question the Bengal top cop in the Sarada chit fund scam.

Cash to poll

Cash in bulk is being illegally transported on a daily basis in Karnataka in convoys with alleged police cover and is being hoarded at residences of politicians and safe “places for distribution among lower party functionaries, who are inducing voters with illegal money,” said a top official source. The illegal distribution of funds among voters is allegedly being handled by some engineers of the PWD on the instructions of their political bosses, charged the source, adding there was an unholy nexus among politicians, contractors and engineers.

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