IT Raids in Karnataka

The IT raids that has happened today in Karnataka has exposed the underbelly in the H D Kumaraswamy Government. The CM and his Congress colleagues have taken to the street level agitation attacking the IT officials and abusing them in such language which places the CM and Mr Siddaramaiah in a very low light in the eyes of the electorate.

It is clear that the CM was aware of the raids yesterday itself and hence there was no surprise as far as he was concerned. The actual raids appear to have been restricted to some officials. There is no doubt that these officials are close to Mr Kumaraswamy because otherwise they would not be sitting as officials in key positions. Ever since this Government has come to power in Karnataka, all appointments have been under the strict control of the Gowda family. Hence any raid against an official is always against a “Close aide of the family”.

Unlike the criticism of the Congress and JDS, it has to be accepted that this time of the elections is the right time for the raid because during this time, the hidden cash would come out into circulation and would be in stock. Hence I consider that if the IT department wanted to conduct a raid, this was a good time.

According to one survey, by a TV channel, 62% respondents have expressed the opinion that the raids were not politically motivated. The attempt of the HDK and DKS to convert the raids as an election issue has therefore not succeeded. It will however continue to fill the media space for a few more days.

One dangerous trend seen in the context of this raid is that Mr HDK is behaving more and more like the Mamata Bannerjee and has become belligerent. Until now he was cool and was not using abusive words like Mr Siddaramaiah to criticise Mr Modi. But after his son Mr Nikhil stood for elections in Mandya and is facing a tough battle, he seems to have become nervous and in the coming days, we can see more indiscretion being committed.

It would be better if Mr HDK does not forget that he is the CM of the state and has to behave responsibly. He cannot openly threaten IT officials as he did today since his followers may carry it further and physically carry out attacks on the IT Staff.

The Election Commission has to warn the CM to be more discreet as otherwise he would be held responsible for any law and order problem that may arise on account of his utterances.

It is unfortunate that instead of discussing issues of Corruption, National Security etc, the narrative has shifted to the IT raids. Hopefully the discussion will come back to the real issues that should drive the elections as an election to chose the Prime Minister of India.

The focus on local issues is not good for BJP and it is in their interest that the narrative is shifted to Mr Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi and issues such as “Fight against Corruption”, “National Security” etc.


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