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.
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.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.