BANGALORE: The Income-Tax Department is conducting searches at several locations in Karnataka on charges of tax evasion.
As per the report, the raids are being conducted in state capital Bangalore, Hassan and Mandya.
According to the sources, the action is aimed against tax evaders and black money generators.
I-T departments are conducting raids at the residents of Zilla Panchayat President and Janata Dal (Secular) leader Nagarathna Swami in Maddur.
I-T raids also carried out at Zilla Parishad member Timme Swamy’s premises as well as two firms belonging to Nagarathna-including Someshwara Fertiliser and Saw Mill.
Nagarathna and Timme are said to be close aids of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
"The searches are based on credible intelligence that certain businessmen have earned income not disclosed to tax and are in possession of undisclosed assets”, the department said in a statement.
"Taxpayers covered in the search operations are engaged in the business of real estate, quarrying and stone crushing, executing government contracts, operating petrol bunks, sawmill and managing cooperative banks. These are sectors which are prone to generation of black money" it added.
The statement also said five residences in Hassan, one each in Bangalore and Mandya along with their business premises are being covered as part of the search operations.
On March 28, Income Tax department officials had conducted a search operation at the residence of Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister CS Puttaraju and several locations in Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru and Hassan.
Earlier, Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had led a Congress-JD(S) protest against the Income Tax department as a response to statewide I-T raids on his partymen and others.
During the protest, Kumaraswamy had lashed out at Modi led central government for misusing the I-T department and other central agencies.
He had alleged, Centre's behaviour is an assault on the federal system and added that Modi has been misusing the constitutional bodies.
"We are not opposed to raids. But we are opposing it because it is restricted to a few political parties in the opposition. They want to threaten them," Kumaraswamy had said.
"The real fact is the BJP is shaken and wants to win the election by intimidating us. But we are not the ones who get scared," the chief minister added.
HD Kumaraswamy had said, during elections, the I-T department which has to operate independently has acted on the orders of the PM and the BJP president and that this needs to be condemned.
"We request that the activities of the income tax department should not be politicised, personalised or trivialised”, he had said.
On March 28, hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had tweeted, Income Tax raids in Karnataka is PM's 'real surgical strike'.
“PM Narendra Modi’s real surgical strike is out in the open through IT dept raids. The constitutional post offer for IT officer Balakrishna helped the PM in his revenge game. Highly deplorable to use govt machinery, corrupt officials to harass opponents during election time”, Kumaraswamy had tweeted.
“Honourable PM Narendra Modi is misusing the IncomeTax Dept to threaten the political leaders of Karnataka from JD(S) and Congress during election time. They have planned to conduct IT raids on our important leaders. This is nothing but revenge politics. We will not be cowed down by this”, he had said.
28 Lok Sabha seats in the state will go to polls in two phases on April 18 and 23.