Recently things have been pretty eventful for the Gujarat Congress. First its veteran leader Shankarsinh Vaghela quit the party, then it was soon hit by a mutiny of sorts after its MLAs started crossing over to the BJP.
This put the Congress party in a perilous spot, because if 7 more MLAs had resigned from the party, it would have meant that Ahmed Patel, the political adviser to Sonia Gandhi, would have lost his Rajya Sabha seat. In order to avoid this major embarrassment, the party decided to fly out and keep its remaining MLAs holed up in a Bangalore resort to prevent them from resigning.
This wasn’t a very popular move as the MLAs were flown to the resort at a time when Gujarat has been battered with massive rains. This gave out impression to the general public that “MLAs are enjoying when people are drowning”.
Now these group of MLAs are again in the news as the Bangalore resort, where they are ‘holidaying’, was raided by Income Tax officials who searched the premises belonging to Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar:
Income Tax Dept’s raid at Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar’s residence and Eagleton Golf Resort where Cong Gujarat MLAs are staying
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2017
Although the government maintained that the raids were on properties owned by the Karnataka minister and not on Gujarat MLAs, Congress claimed it as a witch-hunt:
BJP is on an unprecedented witch-hunt just to win one Rajya Sabha seat
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) August 2, 2017
DK Shivakumar has been accused of involved in illegal mining and land scams earlier, and his inclusion in the ministry had raised eyebrows back in 2014.
Reportedly 39 locations linked to him were raided all throughout the country, which included cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Bengaluru & Doddanala. By the time this report was written, he was reportedly being questioned by the IT officials in their Bangalore office.
The raids also seem to have been successful to a certain extent as the officials have recovered Rs 5 crore in cash from his Delhi residence:
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 2, 2017
Another 2.5 crores rupees were also reported to have been recovered from his Karnataka residence.
Some reports suggest that the Congress leader tried to tear up some papers to hide those from the officials:
— Firstpost (@firstpost) August 2, 2017