Income Tax sleuths raided Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar's aide UB Shetty's luxurious residence in Dasanakoppa Circle in Dharwad district in the state on Thursday. The I-T sleuths also raided the house of UB Shetty's brother Seetharama Shetty. Reacting to the incident, Congress party MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar stated that the raids were being conducted to create fear among Congress workers. "We will not be scared by this. BJP is indulging in instilling fear among the opposition leaders. This is happening in all states. We are not scared of Income Tax or Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids," she said.
"UB Shetty has been with Shivakumar for a long time. This is being done to hit the morale of Congress workers. The raids will not have any impact on bye-elections," she maintained. Both Shetty brothers are contractors. The team of officers that landed from Goa were searching the house of UB Shetty and collected details of his properties in Uppunda and Byndoor towns of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. Later in the day, a raid was also conducted at his brother Seetharama Shetty's residence in Vinayakanagar. The Income Tax Department is yet to make a statement on raids.
This development comes less than two weeks after the image consultancy firm hired by DKS was raided by the I-T Department. Following the incident, Naresh Arora, the co-founder of the company DesignBoxed, said it was a clear cut political vendetta.
In a public statement he had said that he and his colleagues were targeted as they have been working for the opposition and mainly Congress party. â€śApart from trying to find anything remotely incriminatory against top Congress leaders, the raids were intended to intimidate a self-made professional and political campaign management firm so that they don't work for India's main opposition party. It is unfortunate that even after being so powerful the ruling dispensation needs to intimidate those working with the opposition,â€ť he had said.