Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy accused that the Election Commission and Income Tax Department are harassing him and his family members during ensuing Lok Sabha elections. He makes this allegation two days after the EC officials stopped his vechile and convoy for checks.
Stating that they are literally harassing them, he cautioned them that let EC officials perform their duties, but didn’t harass them on mere suspicion.
However, EC officials said that that was a routine search at the Channarayapatna check-post on the Bengaluru-Hassan highway. “We daily check vehicles of all political parties, their leaders and candidates to ensure they observe the Model Code of Conduct,” added.
Besides Kumaraswamy`s Range Rover, the EC team also searched 14 other vehicles which were part of the convoy going to Hassan to campaign for Prajwal Gowda of the ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), who is contesting from the key constituency. Prajwal is the grandson of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and son of state PWD Minster H.D. Ravenna.
Kumaraswamy had earlier sought the Election Commission’s intervention to end the Income Tax department raids on persons allegedly associated with the ruling JD(S) and Congress combine.
Meanwhile, the IT department in a statement said that it has seized Rs 1.66 crore cash in raids across Karnataka. A total of 24 premises were searched. It also said that no MP, MLA or minister has so far been covered in the searches, which are underway.
In another development, the Election Commission has transferred the superintendent of police of Hassan and changed an election observer in Mandya – the two sensitive constituencies from where Deve Gowda’s grandsons are contesting the Lok Sabha polls. Hassan SP A N Prakash Gowda has been transferred and Chethan Singh Rathor has come in his place, while Mandya election observer Ranjit Kumar has also been changed.