Congress corners Government over IT raid and NOTA in RS

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"I wanted a small part of it; because no one should say tomorrow that they (IT officials) had not gone to the resort", he added.

He maintained that the timing of the search was decided well in advance, and that it had nothing to do with Gujarat Congress MLAs being brought to Karnataka. "The resort is not being raided", the officials said.

The party's high command directed Shivakumar and Suresh to look after the needs of the Gujarat legislators, who are likely to stay at the resort till August 7 before flying back to Ahmedabad for the crucial voting on August 8.

The Income Tax Joint Commissioner said the search was in continuation of an investigation, which has been in progress for a considerable period of time. "The central government is using the IT department to target rivals in all opposition-ruled states", Siddaramaiah said.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state. The Congress moved its Gujarat MLAs in a bid to avoid horse-trading.

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Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun kharge asserted that the BJP-led Centre was resorting to IT raid in wake of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.

Congress has fielded senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel for the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju rejected the opposition Congress Party's claim of the government carrying out a witch hunt by ordering the Income Tax (IT) department to raid against Shivakumar.

The IT department denied that its raid at Karnataka Energy Minister's residence and resort has nothing to do with the Gujarat's Congress MLAs.

Ahead of the searches, security was stepped up at the minister's residence and at the resort and vehicles coming out of the two places were checked. Shivakumar is overseeing the stay of over 40 Gujarat Congress MLAs at Eagleton Resort, in Bengaluru. "The Income Tax department is being used to threaten them as well as a Minister of Karnataka", Kharge said, as members from the treasury benches raised their pitch in protest.

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