New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was on Wednesday repeatedly adjourned over the Income Tax Department raid on a Bengaluru resort where 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs have been lodged.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley however denied the resort was raided. He said the officials went there just to nab “one particular individual” (Karnataka minister D.K. Shivakumar).
Congress leader Anand Sharma raised the issue as soon as the House met for the day.
“For the past few days we have been raising our grave concerns about the attempt to derail and hijack elections to the council of states by abusing state power. Today (Wednesday) IT raids were conducted against a Congress minister at the resort where our MLAs are staying,” Sharma said.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government agencies were being used to terrorise people just ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections.
“What is happening in this country? This House as well as the Election Commission will have to ensure free and fair elections,” he said.
The election to Rajya Sabha are scheduled for August 8 and the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded three candidates, including a Congress rebel.
The Congress is seeking another term for party President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.
Jaitley, denying the allegations, said the searches were being done against one minister and not other MLAs staying at the resort.
“In that resort where your MLAs are staying, no search has taken place. No MLA has been searched. A particular individual was to be searched. He had parked himself at the resort. The resort is certainly not an immune area,” Jaitley said.
Sharma said the timing of the raids was significant. Jaitley quipped that whether it is use or abuse of authorities will depend upon recoveries.
The Congress members meanwhile came to the Chair’s podium and shouted slogans against the government. The Chair adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
During Question Hour, the Congress members again raised the issue and Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
As the House reconvened, the Congress MPs again began raising slogans against the government.
Ansari, after repeatedly requesting the members to let Question Hour go on, adjourned the House till 2 p.m.