The Income Tax Department last week raided the houses and offices of several contractors, including those allegedly close to former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and his son BY Vijayendra, during which the department has recovered undeclared assets worth around Rs 750 crore. The recent raids by the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru and elsewhere are a major setback for B.R Umesh, a close aide of B.S Yeddyurappa, and other BJP veterans.
According to the report of news agency IANS, undisclosed income of about Rs 750 crore has been found during the search and seizure. Out of this, an amount of Rs 487 crore has been accepted by the concerned group entities as their undisclosed income. The searches, which began on October 7, have been carried out in 47 premises spread across four states.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister of the state H.D. Kumaraswamy has made serious allegations that IT raids have been conducted on Yeddyurappa’s close aides only with the intention of giving him ‘checkmate’ and subduing him. He alleged, “Yediyurappa and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah met in Mysore to chalk out a plan to weaken the BJP in Karnataka. Anyone with little common sense can understand why close associates of Yeddyurappa and his son Vijayendra have been targeted by the IT department. This is being done by the BJP with the intention of putting brakes on Yeddyurappa.”
He said, “I have no hesitation in saying this. BJP wants to control BS Yediyurappa.” However, the findings of the raids have given a serious turn of events as the disturbance is now expected to be thoroughly probed.
Unaccounted cash worth Rs 4.69 crore, unaccounted jewelery worth Rs 8.67 crore, bullion and silver articles worth Rs 29.83 lakh have been seized during the searches. The Income Tax Department conducted a search and seizure operation in the case of three prime contractors based out of Bengaluru, Yediyurappa’s aide Umesh, engaged in the execution of irrigation and highway projects, including BR, for three days from October 7.
Sources said there is every possibility of reaching BS Yediyurappa as the raids were focused on projects of the Irrigation Department under the Ministry of Water Resources., which involved implementation of various projects worth over Rs 20,000 crore. The IT department further claimed that one of the groups has admitted to indulging in inflating labor expenditure to the tune of Rs 382 crore. In addition, another group has received housing entries worth Rs 105 crore from non-existing paper companies, which have been accepted by this group.
According to sources, these massive rigging will be probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in future. Sources said BS Yediyurappa, who has started asserting himself after stepping down as the chief minister, will now have no other way but to follow the party’s decree. BS Yediyurappa, despite being asked to step down from the top post, remains a mass leader and has a good hold on BJP MLAs.
According to reports, BS Yediyurappa has all the potential to damage the prospectus of the BJP party in Karnataka in the next assembly elections. Since the BJP high command wants his support to come back to power, but at the same time they don’t want to be in his shadow. Sources say that with the IT raids, the party wanted to achieve these goals and the findings of the IT raids made the party’s job easier.