The tax department said its officials visited the Eagleton Golf Resort near Bengaluru only in connection with Karnataka minister, DK Shivakumar of the Congress, who was staying at the resort, tasked by the party to look after its Gujarat guests.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed protests by the opposition against the "witch-hunt by the government".
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said the grand old party will neither bow down nor it will be intimidated by BJP's "political conspiracies" like IT department raids. He insisted that the minister was searched and he happened to be at the resort.
Shivakumar, is hosting his party's MLAs from Gujarat who have been brought to the Bengaluru resort till the day of the Rajya Sabha elections on 8 August. "Niyam sab ke liye ek hota hai.Congress ke paap ka ghada bhar chuka hai (Rules are same for everyone, Congress has reached the limits of wrongdoings)", Pradhan said. Congress leader Anand Sharma said it is now becoming a trend to blatantly misuse powers of the state.
The search at the Minister's posh residence in the city's upscale northwest suburb and his deluxe room at the resort caught the ruling party in Karnataka unaware and led to condemnation. He added that the IT dept could have waited for a few days for the Gujarat MLAs to return before performing their duties.
"Just to defeat one Rajya Sabha candidate they are doing all this, but they will not be successful", said Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress, in the Lok Sabha. Attempt was made to bribe legislators in Gujarat. Reportedly, the Congress party has shifted over 40 MLAs to the Eagleton Golf resort.
A team of 10 tax officials, along with personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), searched the resort this morning.
The income tax department has denied any Gujarat link to their raids, claiming the searches were planned in advance.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dr GParameshwar, reacting to the raid on Minister Shivakumar house andproperties, said "that it was done only with political vengeance".
Another leader P.L. Punia said it only shows what kind of politics the BJP is doing. And after Gujarat Congress strongman Shankersinh Vaghela quit and took with him six other legislators last week, three of whom defected to the BJP.