IT sleuths search Karnataka minister's house, resort suite in Bengaluru

A few of the 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat having food at the Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru on Saturday | Express

He went on to say that the objective of IT officials visiting the resort was to confront Shivakumar, who he the union minister alleged was hiding at the resort.

Meanwhile, Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the parties issue whip for these elections and NOTA option goes "against the nature of the whip". The Income Tax Directorate, in a statement here, said that the timing of the search was decided well in advance and it had nothing to do with the Legislators from Gujarat camping at the resort.

Rajya Sabha elections do not take place by secret ballot.

New Delhi:Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel slammed the I-T raids on Karnataka Energy minister and accused the BJP of indulging in an "unprecedented witch-hunt" to win one Rajya Sabha seat.

Patel, a veteran Congress leader from Gujarat had told NDTV that the BJP president, Amit Shah, had chose to ensure his defeat at any cost because the latter held him responsible for being jailed during the UPA regime. Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the memorandum said: "It is also clear that there is no specific direction from the Supreme Court for the use of NOTA for elections to the Rajya Sabha".

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear Gujarat Congress's petition challenging Election Commission's (EC) decision to use NOTA.

"Just to defeat one Rajya Sabha candidate, they are doing all this, but they will not be successful", said Kharge.

"Immediately thereafter, biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha were held in 16 states".

Earlier on Wednesday, the Income Tax department raided a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where 42 Congress MLAs from Gujarat were holed up to avoid poaching by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the BJP attempted to bribe legislators in Gujarat, failing which they ordered the probe. After its MLAs resignations, the party sent its 44 MLAs from Gujarat to Bengaluru and said the move was to save the MLAs from the pressure of the BJP.

Another Congress MP, Anand Sharma said that it is becoming a trend to "misuse powers of the government". The defiant voter can continue to be an MLA and his vote can also not be invalidated for defying party directions, the EC rules say.

In the 182-member Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51 from 57.

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