Thursday, August 3, 2017
IT raids on K'taka's Energy Minister
The Income Tax officials conducted raids on around 40 locations of Karnataka Energy Minister and senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar. Congress cries foul at the raids and described them as witch hunt. Congress MPs showed their protests against the raids by raising anti-govt. slogans vociferously in the Rajya Sabha. However, Union Finance Minister and leader of the Upper House Arun Jaitely said that IT raids were not linked to Gujarat MLAs, who were put up in Engalton Resort in Karnataka, to save them from being poached by the BJP in view of the Rajya Sabha elections. Only recently after the resignation of Congress leader in Gujarat assembly Shankar Singh Vaghela from the party, six more party MLAs left and joined BJP. The RS elections for three seats from Gujarat are going to be held on August 8. BJP has the adequate number of MLAs for winning two seats from the state. BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani have filed nominations for those two seats. The Congress party has also the required number of MLAs to win one seat. Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has filed his nomination for RS seat. But it is alleged that BJP tries to win all the three Rajya Sabha seats from the state. It has fielded the third candidate, who has just resigned from Congress, also for Rajya Sabha seat. The BJP candidate has just joined the party after defecting from the Congress. So, there is a fear in the Congress party if its MLAs are left in the state, they could be intimated, lured and pressurized under the temptation of money and power to switch sides. So, it took its 44 Gujarat party MLAs to Karnataka and put them in Engalton Resort. Karnataka is a Congress ruled state. Congress party deputed the Energy Minister D K Shiva Kumar to take care of all the Gujarat party MLAs put up in the resort. In the given situation, the IT raids on DK Shivakumar are allegedly linked to Gujarat MLAs in the resort. Congress alleges that BJP ruled Gujarat and Central Govt. try to terrorize, intimidate MLAs by power and tempt them by money to switch over sides so that its candidate Ahmed Patel could be defeated in the Rajya Sabha elections. IT men have reportedly recovered about Rs. 7 crore from Shivakamar’s Delhi residence. The case against Shivakumar has not been registered today or in recent times. It is an old case of misappropriation of money. The question that causes suspicion behind the IT raids is about its timing. If anyone in the country has accumulated unaccounted money, he or she must be brought to book without any loss of time. Whether the politician belongs to ruling or opposition party, it must not matter. The corrupt must be treated as such under the law of the land. But at the same time, the govt. agencies like ED, IT, CBI and others must not be misused by the ruling party against its rival political party leaders. There must be transparency in the function of these agencies. Can it be possible that there is no corruption in a certain political party in power and because of this allegation against its leaders must be given a go by? Whoever is corrupt must be punished under the due process of law. The I-T department recovered around Rs 7 crores from Shivakumar’s properties that it found to be questionable. The Congress, on the other hand, said that there was a clear connection between the raids and the upcoming elections in Gujarat for three Rajya Sabha seats.I-T department, on the other hand, says that this was a pre-planned raid. If the Karnataka Minister is found to be misappropriating money, he must be dealt with sternly. But the investigation must also be fair and without any bias. The investigating agencies have to be impartial and unbiased. It is because of RS elections in Gujarat and the exodus of Congress MLAs allegedly at the behest of the ruling BJP in the state must also not be lost sight of.