The Income-Tax office filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for staging a protest demonstration at its office in the city on March 28 over the raids on contractors in the state, an official said on Wednesday.
“We have forwarded the complaint to the state director general of police to inquire into the incident, as elected representatives holding constitutional posts participated in the protest demo with others against a tax office and its officials,” a poll official told IANS.
Besides Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, state Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar, Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah and Congress state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao staged protest with leaders and cadres of the ruling allies – JD-S and Congress.
“The protest by ministers and legislators against the tax office was an unlawful assembly and a threat to the life of tax officials when the model code of conduct for the 2019 general election was in force since March 10, recalled the official.
The chief minister, his deputy and some cabinet ministers descended on the tax office in the city centre with JD-S and Congress leaders hours after I-T sleuths launched a search operation on contractors of public works in Bengaluru, Mandya and Hassan in the southern state.
“The protest was staged, slogans were raised against our top officer and threatening speeches were made by the leaders of the alliance partners even after the officer clarified that no raids were launched on ministers or legislators,” an I-T official told IANS.
Refuting Kumaraswamy’s charges, the top official said on March 28 that raids on contractors were based on credible information received.
aceNo MP (Member of Parliament), MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) or minister have so far been covered in the searches, which are being carried on contractors and connected persons across the state,” said I-T Director-General for Karnataka B.R. Balakrishnan in a statement then.
In series of tweets, a rattled Kumaraswamy accused the tax office of planning raids on important leaders of the ruling parties.
“The police will investigate the case and take action,” the poll official added.
The tax office also wrote to the state revenue department on the protest and speeches made, accusing its officials of making selective raids.
“The activities of the tax office should not be politicised, personalised or trivilised. In particular, statements which sound like an incitement to violenceAissued by persons holding responsible posts are deplorable,” said Balakrishnan.
Claiming all the raids resulted in collecting credible evidence on tax evasion, Balakrishnan said the searches on politically exposed persons have covered the entire political spectrum.