The Income Tax raids on former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s close aide BR Umesh and others have triggered a political storm and also tainted the leader, sources said.
The searches began on 7 October across 47 premises in four states, unfolding an undisclosed incomes of Rs 750 crore of which Rs 487 crore has been admitted by the respective group entities.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleged that the IT raids have been conducted on the close aides of Yediyurappa only with an intention of giving him a ‘checkmate’ and taming him.
“Yediyurappa and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah met in Mysuru to plan how to weaken BJP in Karnataka. Anyone with little common sense could sense why close aides of Yediyurappa and his son B.Y. Vijayendra have been targeted by the IT department. It is being done with an intention to put brakes on Yediyurappa by the BJP,” he charged.
“I do not have any hesitation in saying this BJP wants to control Yediyurappa,” he underlined.
The raids could take a precarious turn as a probe into misappropriation is now expected.
During the search, unaccounted cash of Rs 4.69 crore; unaccounted jewellery and bullion valued at Rs 8.67 crore; and silver articles valued at Rs 29.83 lakh have been seized.
IT department claimed that one of the groups has admitted to having indulged in inflating labour expenses amounting to Rs 382 crore. Another group has been found to have taken accommodation entries, from non-existing paper companies to the extent of Rs 105 crore, which has been admitted by this group.
These huge misappropriations would attract investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in future, according to sources.
Meanwhile, the IT sleuths have conducted raids on the ‘Design Box’ company office and a hotel room where company owner Naresh Arora is residing.
The company manages the social media platforms of powerful politicians in Bengaluru and also into the branding of politicians.