The marathon search and seizure operations by Income Tax sleuths at the Sadashivanagar residence of Karnataka Energy minister D K Shivakumar concluded on Saturday morning around 10.20 a.m.
Walking out of his house after three days of grilling by sleuths of the Income Tax department, first since the raids began on Wednesday, Mr. Shivakumar said he would go meet the Gujarat MLAs, who are staying at the Eagleton Resort on the outskirts of the city. "I will first visit a temple and later meet the Gujarat MLAs, who have come to Bengaluru reposing faith in me,” he said to loud cheers from his supporters gathered outside his residence.
Refusing to answer questions on the I-T raids, he said: "Nobody can hide the truth. I will speak in detail only after obtaining the 'panchanama' documents. I never worked against the spirit of the law and Constitution… I am not embarrassing my party and at no point, will I let down my leaders."
It can be recalled that 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat were flown down to the city on July 28 and Mr. Shivakumar had hosted them at Eagleton Resort. IT sleuths who started a vast search and seizure operations against the minister on Wednesday, also searched the premises of Eagleton Resort, causing much uproar as Congress alleged misuse of IT Department to influence MLAs. While IT department said that the search operations were in no way linked to the Gujarat MLAs and the timing was only co-incidental, two Gujarat MLAs alleged IT officials asked them to go back to Gujarat and that they would be given Rs. 15 crore. Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat where Congress party strategist Ahmed Patel is a contestant is scheduled for August 8.
Condemning the use of central police forces during the I-T raids, Chief Minster Siddaramaiah said: "Mr. Shivakumar knows the law. We will fight this legally."
Meanwhile, sources said that the I-T search operations, which had concluded at the Minister’s residence, was still ongoing at several other premises belonging to his associates, including his father-in-law Thimmaiah’s residence and factory in Mysuru.