We strongly deny and refute allegations, the IT department said on Siddaramaiah's charges
The Income Tax department has taken exception to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's charges against it. Addressing a rally against notes ban on Wednesday, the chief minister had said that an Income Tax officer had told Congress minister DK Shivakumar that he would be safe if he joined the BJP.
Mr Shivakumar, an influential minister in the Karnataka cabinet, had been raided by Income Tax authorities in August, at a time when he was looking after Congress MLAs from Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. At that time, the Congress had alleged that the raids were political vendetta.
Today, a press release by the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), Karnataka and Goa, said, "Our attention has been drawn to the fact the certain political leaders have made allegations that searches by the Income Tax department are politically motivated. In particular the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Karnataka is reported to have stated that in the case of a Karnataka Minister who was searched, Income tax officials who were part of the team openly asked him to join the BJP."
"We strongly deny and refute these allegations.... No Income Tax officer or official has at any point of time made any such statement to the Hon'ble Minister or to anyone else," the statement added.
DK Shivakumar and his family were questioned again by the IT department earlier this week.
Investigating agencies including the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department have often been accused by the opposition of being under the control of the ruling party.