Karnataka minister Jarkiholi won't resign after IT raids, blames BJP MLA for the raids

If ministers resigned due to raids, the cabinet would be empty says Jarkiholi
Karnataka minister Jarkiholi won't resign after IT raids, blames BJP MLA for the raids
Karnataka minister Jarkiholi won't resign after IT raids, blames BJP MLA for the raids
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Karnataka’s Small Scale Industries Minister, Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been in the news lately for the I-T raids conducted at his residence in Gokak and Bengaluru, lashed out at a BJP MLA on Thursday and blamed him for the raids.

The minister accused BJP’s Belagavi Rural MLA, Sanjay Patil of lodging a complaint against him with the I-T department during thr Republic Day celebrations in Belagavi, Suvarna News reported.

“The Income Tax Department conducted raids on my home because of you. You should not have indulged in such politics,” the minister said.

The BJP MLA, however, denied Jarkiholi’s allegation and said that he had only informed the I-T Department about Harsha Sugar factory, which is owned by Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Jarkiholi’s associate.

According to a press note issued by the I-T Department, the raids conducted on the homes of Ramesh Jarkiholi, Lakshmi Hebbalkar and Jarkiholi’s aides, had uncovered Rs 162 crore of unaccounted income along with 12.8 kg of gold.

The BJP had then demanded Jarkiholi’s resignation. With pressure mounting on the Congress government to initiate action against the minister, CM Siddaramaiah, had on Wednesday, said that he would obtain the report on the raids from the I-T Department.

“The I-T Department does not submit reports to the CM or the state government. But I will seek the report,” Siddaramaiah told mediapersons in Mysuru.

Responding to the opposition’s demand that he quit, Jarkiholi told mediapersons that there was no question of quitting.

“I-T raids are a routine thing. Just because a raid was conducted on my house does not mean I should resign. If that was the case, the entire cabinet would be empty by now. I am a fighter and I will stand up for my cause. Let them prove that there was unaccounted income,” Jarkiholi said.

The minister had, on Wednesday said the raids were politically motivated and that the I-T department had wrongly reported the findings of the raids.

He admitted that property worth Rs 115 crore was seized by the I-T Department as opposed to Rs 162 crore.

“Out of the Rs 115 crore seized Rs 80 crore belongs to Soubhagylaxmi Sugar Factory and the remaining amount is related to various transactions of the factory. There were no benami accounts as I have declared the source of the funds to the I-T Department,” he added.

Jarkiholi alleged that a large number of the factory’s transactions were conducted through credit-cooperative societies but had at the same time not violated any rules.

“I'm ready to provide all the details to the I-T department. It's not fair on part of officials to highlight the same as a big crime and portray me as a criminal. The Rs 20 lakh and 8-kg gold found in my brother Lakkan Jarkiholi's house and 4.5 kg of gold found in our Lakshmi Hebbalkar's home were also accounted for and there was no black money. I-T officials have been spreading lies through the media just to embarrass me,” the minister told mediapersons.

The minister said that his political rivals were trying to defame is image, especially with the polls coming up in 2018.

“I have spoken to Home Minister Parameshwara about the raids. I am ready to resign if I am found guilty of any illegal activity but I have not done anything wrong,” he said

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