The Income Tax Department and the Karnataka Excise Department officials conducted a search and seizure operation at the home of former Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker and Congress candidate from Ranebennur – KB Koliwad – late on Tuesday night.
The search operation was conducted after a BJP leader filed a complaint with the Income Tax Department that cartons of alcohol and cash amounting to Rs 10 crore were allegedly stashed at Koliwad’s residence in Haveri district’s Ranebennur.
Haveri Excise Commissioner Nagashayan told the media that they did not find anything at KB Koliwad’s house. “There was a complaint that was initially given to the returning officer and the Income Tax Department. We searched the premises for a few hours and did not find anything,” he said.
Speaking to TNM, KB Koliwad said that he was being targeted by the BJP as the party did not want him to win the bye-elections. “There is a BJP councillor named Buradikatti Kittappa from Haveri. He went and filed a complaint with the returning officer and Income Tax Department stating that I was hoarding Rs 10 crore cash and cartons of whiskey bottles,” the Congress leader said.
The former Karnataka Assembly Speaker said that he was being targeted as he is a veteran politician, whose chances of winning were higher than the BJP’s candidate, Arun Kumar Pujar. “The police have put up CCTV cameras in front of my house to monitor my every move. They have not done this for the BJP candidate. When the IT officials and Excise Department officials came to my house, I welcomed them. They did not find anything. This clearly proves that the BJP is using central agencies for its personal use,” he said.
KB Koliwad also said that he is going to file a defamation case against Buradikatti Kittappa for trying to malign his name and tarnish his reputation just a day before the elections. “I have instructed the Deputy Commissioner to take action against Kittappa. I am also going to file a defamation case against them if no action is taken immediately. They are trying to destroy my reputation before the elections,” he said.