Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday raised fears of possible Income Tax raids on Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) functionaries ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and warned that he would use "Mamata Banerjee's tactics" against any official found indulging in such behaviour.
Last month, a five-member CBI team that reached the residence of the Kolkata top cop to question him on the Rose Valley and Saradha ponzi scams were briefly detained on the orders of the West Bengal Chief Minister. Ms Banerjee later staged a "Save the Constitution" dharna in Kolkata from February 3 to 5 to protest the Narendra Modi government's alleged vindictiveness towards opposition-ruled states.
Mr Kumaraswamy claimed that CRPF personnel have been brought in from various parts of the country to assist Income Tax officials in carrying out raids targeted at opposition leaders. "I have received specific information that 200-300 CRPF personnel have been brought in to conduct raids at 5 am on Thursday," he said.
The Chief Minister, however, warned that he wouldn't shrink away from pulling off a Mamata if the centre continued to indulge in "politics of vendetta" to weaken opponents ahead of the elections. "I know the game that Income Tax officials are playing in this final stage of the election. They should exercise caution... they will end up repenting if they continue to act like agents of a political party," he said.
Income Tax officials were not immediately available for comment.
The Karnataka Congress alleged that the Income Tax department, the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI now seemed to have the sole aim of propelling the BJP to victory. "This is the first time in the history of India that a Prime Minister has misused autonomous institutions with such flagrant disregard. The people will teach him a lesson," it tweeted.
The Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka will be held on April 18 and 23.