Karnataka's minister
Politics

Karnataka’s Minister To Face More Problems

 Income-tax raids on properties allegedly linked to Karnataka’s minister DK Shivakumar+ continued across the state for the second consecutive day on Thursday, with strong indications that the Enforcement Directorate is likely to take over the probe.


In a swoop that raised a political storm, the income-tax department conducted searches at 64 locations and properties in the past 48 hours in a tax-evasion case.

Sources said that CM Siddaramaiah has convened a meeting of senior ministers on Friday to discuss how to go about the issue on the raids on their cabinet colleague.

Sources in the income-tax department said about Rs 10 crore in cash was recovered+ since Wednesday, and the department is investigating Shivakumar in a case of alleged tax evasion and huge undisclosed investments in real estate and jewellery, and some investments allegedly linked to him in Singapore and other foreign locations. To disprove the claims of I-T sources, Kumar’s family released the I-T department’s pancha nama document drawn up at Kumar’s residence to suggest that the officials were making a vain attempt. “Not a single rupee was seized in the nearly 48-hour operation,” said a family member, sharing the document.

The panchanama, signed by senior I-T officer O N Hari Prasad Rao, deputy commissioner, income tax (investigation), suggests there was no recovery so far. “Truth has prevailed. They have not managed to get anything from us,” a family member said. However, I-T officials said the panchanama pertained to the office premises of  Karnataka’s minister Shiva Kumar’s brother and MP DK Suresh, which is also in Sadashivanagar, where the search began at 7.15am and ended at 10.45pm on August 2.

CM has convened a meeting of senior ministers on Friday to discuss how to go about the issue on the raids on their cabinet colleague.
 A source in the ED confirmed they have asked for evidence and, if satisfied with it, are likely to visit Kumar’s residence on Friday . They also received a formal complaint against Kumar from Guruprasad, a resident of Ramanagara, Kumar’s home district.

 In a complaint to the ED, a copy of which was accessed by TOI, Guruprasad has made several charges against Kumar. He alleged that the minister gave some select people in Kanakapura, his assembly constituency, Rs 2 lakh each and got demonetized currency worth crores of rupees, converted into new currency. Kumar, with the help of two associates in Bengaluru, also got more than Rs 2,000 crore in demonetized notes converted through money laundering, he claimed in the complaint.

The complainant also alleged that Kumar, as energy minister, made Rs 6,000 crore in the Rs 20,000 crore solar power project deal. The 1500MW project, touted to be Asia’s biggest power project, has been proposed at Pavagada, Tumakuru district. Guruprasad also alleged that the minister’s land was acquired from farmers in benami deals: they were paid paltry sums, and the same land was later leased to the Solar Power Corporation of India for a high amount.
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