The Karnataka government has been asked to furnish details of transactions above Rs 25 lakh with contractors between January 1 and March 31.

I-T dept seeks details of payments made to contractors just ahead of Ktaka pollsPTI/Representational Image
news Karnataka 2018 Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 15:05

Suspecting that government funds may be used by the ruling Congress for electioneering purposes, Income Tax authorities have asked the Karnataka government to furnish details of transactions above Rs 25 lakh with contractors between January 1 and March 31.

 Karnataka goes to polls on May 12 to elect a new house of legislature and the results are set to be declared on May 15.

 Documents accessed by TNM reveal that Director General of I-T, Investigations (Goa and Karnataka), BR Balakrishna, has written to Chief Secretary K Rathna Prabha seeking details of transactions from the departments of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Revenue, Energy, PWD and Water Resources.

 “Intelligence received by us indicates several big payments have been made to contractors of some of the departments in the state government of Karnataka during the last quarter of the financial year 2017-18, which are meant to be used for election purposes,” a part of the letter addressed to Ratna Prabha reads.

 The I-T Department has also sought payment details to the same contractors for the FY 2016-17 on an urgent basis.

 TNM has learnt that Sharanappa, personal secretary to the chief secretary to the government (cabinet affairs), has also sent a note to relevant departments to take necessary action regarding the I-T Department’s directive.

 “Chief Secretary desired that immediate necessary action has to be taken to furnish the information sought by the Income Tax Department by April 10th directly to Sri BR Balakrishnan,” a part of the note says.

 This communique comes after Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar secured bail in March with regards to the I-T Department cases against him.

 The I-T Department had booked the minister after conducting multiple raids at his properties across the country since August 2017. This was shortly after he was credited with keeping a flock of Gujarat Congress MLAs intact before the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls amidst fears of them being poached by the BJP.

 The I-T raids came after the Department reportedly found torn notes suggesting crores of rupees of unaccounted financial dealings at the posh Eagleton resort where the Gujarat MLAs were housed.

The Congress has maintained that this was nothing but political vendetta by the BJP-ruled Centre.



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