Tag: IT raids

The IT raid that wasn’t on Deve Gowda’s family temple


India is in the thick of the poll season. And arguably the rumour mills and fake news factories are busy churning out stories, which seem credible for a while, with specific targets in mind. Sometimes, politicians (or their strategists) come up with innovative ideas, such as manufacturing incidents, to make the stories more credible. Is the latest “IT raid” on the family temple of former prime minister Deve Gowda  a case in point for this kind of ingenuity?

This is how the story around the “raid” unfolded. Two IT officials swooped down on the residence of Prakash Bhat, the priest in the Shiva Temple at Haradanahalli village in Hassan district. Prakash reportedly told the media that the “sleuths” asked him to show where the cash was kept.

“They said they had information about a huge stash of cash kept in the cartons in my house. And they searched every corner for 40 minutes and returned empty-handed,” he was quoted as saying.

Incidentally, Haradanahalli is the village that JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda hails from. It is said that Lord Shiva (Ishwara) at the temple is his family deity and no important work in the family takes place without first paying obeisance to Ishawara God.

As the news started making rounds, the IT department released a statement denying the raid. “The attention of the Income Tax department in Karnataka-Goa has been drawn to reports in social media that IT officials have checked the house of the family priest and temple of a prominent political leader. No such search/ checking/verification of any sort has been done by the I-T department in Karnataka. It is unfortunate that media persons connected to reputed media houses are spreading such unfounded stories without any attempt at verification,” the statement said.

However, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, son of Deve Gowda, lost no time picking up the “raid” and lashing out at the BJP for “hurting Hindu sentiments”.

“They have not even spared the sanctum sanctorum of our family deity, Lord Ishwara, during the raid. For this, the deity will decimate Narendra Modi-led BJP. IT officials even raided the priest’s house. HD Deve Gowda’s family has the grace of the deity, and it will destroy the BJP across the country,” Kumaraswamy roared during a poll campaign in another district, Tumkur.

JDS alliance partner Congress too jumped in to do its bit. The official handle of KPCC president put out this tweet:

Amid all the brouhaha, the local police said they were not aware of any raid. “Usually, officials inform local police about such raids as we provide security. We received no such information on I-T raids in any part of the district,” The New Indian Express quoted Chetan Singh Rathore, Superintendent of Police, Hassan, as saying.


IT raids and wads of cash stash ahead of voting dates


Currency stash found during IT raids (Image: Twitter)

The Income Tax (IT) department once again unearthed huge stash of unaccounted money on Sunday, raiding 50 places in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. The locations are said to belong to people Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.

The homes of Praveen Kakkar in Indore and Rajendra Kumar Miglani in Delhi were among the properties raided. Kakkar and Miglani were appointed Kamal Nath’s private secretary (Officer on Special Duty) and advisor, respectively, after he took charge as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh last year. But both of them had resigned their posts soon after elections were announced for Lok Sabha last month.

According to sources the raid unearthed Rs. 9 crore stash.

The department has been carrying out raids across the country to check the movement of unaccounted money, to be used to bribe voters, when the voting days are around the corner.

On March 28, raids on properties linked to JDS and Congress leaders in Karnatka had prompted chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his Cabinet colleagues to hold a protest in front of the IT office in Bengaluru. However, sources claimed more than Rs 10 crore unaccounted cash and documents for misappropriation in the public works department were confiscated during the raids.

On April 3, raids in the Vellore district in Tamil Nadu unearthed Rs 11.48 crore cash. A couple of days ago in Andhra Pradesh, chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had sat on a protest against raids on leaders of his party, TDP.  He accused the Modi government of ordering these raids.

“They conducted similar I-T raids in Tamil Nadu before elections. The result was that rivals got more majority than Jayalalitha. IT raids on DK Siva Kumar in Karnataka saw BJP lose face. Similar raids on Delhi CM Kejriwal and his associates saw BJP lose popularity. Similar raids on Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh saw BJP suffer defeat in Gorakhpur,” Chandrababu Naidu is quoted as saying.

Should the IT department display whatever is seized immediately after the raid to come clean of such allegations?