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Karnataka CM cries foul over tax raids on minister




Bengaluru, Aug 5: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday questioned the timing of the Income Tax (IT) raids, which continued the third day on the state Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar, his relatives and aides in the city, state and Delhi.

“I am not against raids per se but look at their timing and the use of central (para-military) forces for it, which undermines our federal structure,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

Dubbing again the raids ‘politically motivated’ by the central government, the Chief Minister alleged that the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had no moral right to say the searches were a fight against corruption when so many of its leaders were facing serious graft charges.

Asked if Shivakumar would be able to come clean on the charges of tax evasion and amassing benami properties worth crores of rupees, Siddaramaiah said he was not aware what was happening at the places where raids were underway to react.

“We do not know anything about the raids, what they (tax sleuths) found during the searches and his interrogation,” reiterated the official.

Though the IT Department remained mum on the raids at several locations, informed sources said the searches led to recovery of many incriminating documents, property records, cash, gold and jewellery valued at Rs 15 crore.

“As raids are being carried simultaneously by about 100-150 officers in the city, across state and elsewhere (Delhi), we cannot divulge or share any information now. Our higher authorities will decide when to do,” an IT official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Defending the deployment of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for the raids, the official said under section 132 of the Income Tax Act, the IT department was empowered to use them (CRPF) for the protection of the search teams.

“This is not the first time their (CRPF) services are used for such raids at multiple locations as they involve risk from those being searched or their people,” reiterated the official but declined to be identified, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“He is a Minister. Taking reserve police to his house and other places is not fair,” he quipped.



KC Tyagi says, Cambridge Analytica has no links with JD(U) nor his son



New Delhi, March 22: Senior Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi on Thursday rejected any links with the Cambridge Analytica (CA).

Speaking to Media, he stated that JDU has no relation with Cambridge Analytics, neither has its CEO ever met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish nor me. In any case, JDU is a Socialist outfit and we stay away from such things, except for maybe Prashant Kishore ji helping us during last assembly polls.

There was only a work relation between my son Amrish’s company and Cambridge Analytics , there is no financial transaction or shareholding, everything is open to probe. JDU also has no links with this, neither did they promote us in 2010 polls”, he added.

KC Tyagi’s son Amrish Tyagi owns Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI), which was Cambridge Analytica’s associate in the country.

OBI in association with CA parent company SCL Group had formed a firm, SCL India.

Meanwhile hitting out at Janata Dal (United), RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, said the name of the company coming out in this matter is in the BJP client list, run by KC Tyagi’s son.

“JD(U) General Secretary’s son is involved and JD(U) is saying that we do not know anything”, he further asserted.

The alleged involvement of the data analytics company and Facebook has erupted a massive political debate across the world as well as in India with a big war-of-words breaking out between the ruling BJP and main Congress.


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Congress hits out at BJP, says Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hai zyada shor




New Delhi, March 22: Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for levelling charges over the alleged data theft, Congress on Thursday said the ruling government has become a manufacturer of fake news.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the BJP Govt has become a manufacturer of fake news. Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hain sabse zyada shor”.

Taking a jibe the BJP-led government, he said, “Hitler had an associate called Goebbels, Narendra Modi has an associate called Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

His reaction comes soon after, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad retaliated his allegations of Congress’s links to political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and claimed that the firm was involved in Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign and there had been meetings too in this regard.

The minister, accepting full responsibility, said that CA had been managing the social media campaign for Rahul Gandhi and there had been meetings also in this connection.

“The Congress cannot run away from this fact. If the Congress maintains a conspicuous silence on such an important news of the involvement of a dubious social media company and does not counter it, then I am sorry. They don’t have any right to run the country,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday also, the Congress denied links to CA that has been accused of data theft to allegedly influence the electoral process.


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Death of 39 Indians in Iraq: Congress to move Privilege Motion against Swaraj



New Delhi, March 22: The Congress will move a Privilege Motion against EAM Sushma Swaraj for misleading the kin of the Indians killed in Iraq by the Islamic State.

Speaking to media, Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said: “We are going to bring a Privilege Motion against the External Affairs Minister for misleading the families of the 39 Indians as well as the House”.

EAM on Tuesday confirmed the death of missing 39 Indians who were abducted by ISIS in June 2014.

Former MoS for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, too, had cornered the ruling government for giving false hope to the families of the hostages all these years.

“Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government, Tharoor asserted.

Echoing on similar views, another Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday asked the Central and State governments to provide financial assistance to the families of deceased and job opportunities in government sector.

The thirty-nine persons, most of them hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were abducted during their evacuation.


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