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'From Today, Real Politics Will Start': JD(S), Congress Grab Chance to Turn I-T Raids Into Poll Ploy

The raids by the Income Tax Department on contractors affiliated with leaders of the JDS-Congress coalition soon became an opportunity for the ruling alliance partners to hit out at the BJP and play the victim card.

Revathi Rajeevan, Deepa Balakrishnan

Updated:March 28, 2019, 10:39 PM IST
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'From Today, Real Politics Will Start': JD(S), Congress Grab Chance to Turn I-T Raids Into Poll Ploy
The raids by the Income Tax Department on contractors affiliated with leaders of the JDS-Congress coalition soon became an opportunity for the ruling alliance partners to hit out at the BJP and play the victim card.
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Bengaluru: It was meant to be a protest against misuse of government machinery, but it soon turned into a public meeting.

The raids by the Income Tax Department on contractors affiliated with leaders of the JDS-Congress coalition soon became an opportunity for the ruling alliance partners to hit out at the BJP and play the victim card.

The protest saw the two parties' top brass landing on the streets - CM HD Kumaraswamy, former CM Siddaramaiah, deputy CM G Parameshwar, Congress president Dinesh Gundurao - all uniting against the taxmen, who they claimed were BJP stooges.

"Why is it that contractors affiliated with only Congress and JDS are raided? When we told them that BJP is trying Operation Kamala by offering 30 crore rupees, no Income Tax officer made a raid," asked the Chief Minister, who travelled all the way from Mysore to participate in the protest in front of the Income Tax Office in Bengaluru.

Though tax officials repeatedly said that no political functionary like an MLA or MP was raided, JDS workers pointed out that one of those raided was closely related to Minister CS Puttaraju, a loyalist of the Gowdas and a former MP from Mandya, where Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil is contesting this time

Puttaraju, speaking to the media in Mandya, said,"From today, real politics will start."

It took barely minutes for the protest to turn into a poll meeting as slogans of 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' and 'Desh Bachao, Modi Hayao' were raised.

Siddaramaiah, who addressed the crowd, said these raids are being orchestrated as "BJP is afraid of defeat." "They want to disrupt our work, our campaign schedules. But we won't be cowed down," he told the flag-waving workers.

Kumaraswamy and Dinesh Gundurao both alleged that the I-T director in charge has been promised a plum post-retirement position, and hence is carrying out these raids at the behest of the Centre.

"Let us make this a challenge. All 28 seats in Karnataka… you all work to ensure JDS Cong wins in all 28 seats to teach them a lesson," the CM said. Rao said they would be taking the issue of "revenge raids" nationally too.

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