IT raids on Reddy associates

BANGALORE: Income tax officials Monday raided the office of Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu, a confidant of the Reddy brothers, the residence of an advocate and the houses of a few Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Karnataka, officials said.

"We are conducting raids in Bangalore, Bellary and Hospet. It is a search operation," a spokesperson of the IT department told IANS here. No further details were available.

Bellary is the political stronghold of the Reddy brothers – Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and his elder brother and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy.

The Reddys are rich iron ore miners. Sriramulu is considered by them to be a part of their family. Hospet is near Bellary.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said he had no information about the raids. "I have no information on it and will not comment," he said in Haveri in north Karnataka.

The BJP legislators whose residences were raided are Suresh Babu and B. Nagendra, both said to be close to the Reddys.

Former union minister and Karnataka government’s special representative in New Delhi, V. Dhananjaya Kumar, termed the raids a "political conspiracy" to destabilize the BJP ministry in the state.(IANS)

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