Congress irked over tax raids at houses of Karnataka minister, leader

Bengaluru, Jan 20 (IANS) Raids by Income Tax officials at the houses of a Karnataka minister, his brother and Congress Women’s Wing President at Belagavi in the state’s northern region has rattled the ruling party, which cried “selective targetting”.

“The I-T Department appears to be selective in its raids, as it is targeting only our ministers and state party leaders,” said Home Minister and Congress state unit President G. Parameshwara.

Confirming that the raids — which began on Thursday — were still underway, a senior tax official told IANS here on Friday that the department will issue a statement after completing the exercise.

“We will give all details on the raids conducted by our Investigation Wing after the exercise is completed in two days,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The Investigation Wing simultaneously raided the houses of Small-Scale Industries Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, his brother Lakhan Jarkiholi at Gokak in Belagavi district, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

The house-cum-office of Congress Women’s Wing President Laxmi Hebbalkar at Belagavi was also raided on account of alleged discrepancies in tax returns filed after the November 8 demonetisation.

“Transactions made by the Jarkiholi brothers and Laxmi Sugar Factory of Hebbalkar post-demonetisation had come under the scanner,” added the official.