Income tax officials raided the houses and offices of several contractors, chartered accountants and businessmen in Bengaluru on Thursday. Several contractors are said to be close to BS Yediyurappa. The biggest name targeted by the I-T sleuths is Umesh, who was the personal secretary of BSY when he was the Chief Minister.
The raids were conducted at over 10 locations since 5 AM in Bengaluru including one of Umesh’s residences. 5 raids were directly connected to Umesh and his associates.
The raids are said to be in connection with irregularities in the irrigation department. The I-T officials are yet to make any formal statement in the case.
Sources told TV9 Kannada that the Income tax officials are looking into Umesh’s involvement in allegedly fixing contracts of Cauvery Irrigation Corporation and Krishna Irrigation Corporation (state-owned subsidiaries handling irrigation projects).
Reacting to the I-T raid, Home minister Araga Jnanendra said law will take its own course.
“I heard about this from the media. I don’t want to react to this. As always, law will take its own course. The Income Tax department can raid anyone. They don’t listen to anyone. What is there to welcome and condemn it?”
Raids meant to send a message to BSY?
The I-T officials have made it clear that this is a ‘routine raid’. But this hasn’t stopped the speculations in political circles that the raids were conducted to send a message to BS Yediyurappa’s sons who have been clamouring for political prominence in the state since their father stepped down as CM.
Who is Umesh?
Umesh went from rags to riches in a matter of a decade. Before he became the personal assistant of BS Yediyurappa when the latter was the Chief Minister, Umesh was a KSRTC (the state-run interstate bus service) driver-cum-conductor.
He recently constructed a house at Ramaiah layout, a posh area in Bengaluru close to where Yediyurappa lives. He had also named his house Dhavalagiri after the name of BSY’s residence. Sources told TV9 Kannada that he owns another residence which is under construction at Vijayanagar in Bengaluru.
His political career started after he met BJP leader Ayanur Manjunath and became his personal assistant. Later, he gained the trust of BY Raghavendra, BSY’s son and became his PA. He is also said to be close to BSY’s younger son, BY Vijayendra and other family members. After a short stint, he became the then Chief Minister Yediyurappa’s PA.
Sources told TV9 Kannada that Umesh used his position to develop close links with contractors and handled major irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.