IT raids: Karnataka Minister Ramesh L Jarkiholi alleges ‘political conspiracy’

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Asserting that he had not committed anything wrong, Karnataka Minister for Small Scale Industries Ramesh L Jarkiholi has alleged that there was a “political conspiracy” behind the Income Tax raids on his premises last week.

“I have not committed any wrong and I believe there is political conspiracy behind the I-T raids. The I-T officials had visited us in Belagavi and we have cooperated with them.

Even in future, we would cooperate with the officials,” Jarkiholi told PTI.

His reaction came in response to the raids on January 19 by the IT department which had said that it has detected undisclosed assets worth over Rs 162 crore and seized Rs 41 lakh cash, besides over a dozen kg in gold and jewellery during searches on his and state Mahila Congress chief Laxmi R Hebbalkar’s premises.

IT officials said the department has also got inputs about a number of “benami” assets and “unexplained investments” during the searches at Gokak in Belagavi district that followed allegations of tax evasion.

Hebbalkar was not available for comments.

The searches, the department officials said, were launched on January 19 to probe allegations of tax evasion in the sugar business apparently run by groups associated with the duo.

The investigators, officials said, found “huge unexplained cash deposits” had been made in the bank accounts of their family members and associates, and in benami names in primary cooperative societies which were transferred to business entities engaged in sugar manufacturing.

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