Bengaluru: Days after raids on close associates of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Income Tax officials on Tuesday raided an image and political consultancy firm in Bengaluru that counts Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar as a client.
The firm, DesignBoxed, has been handling Shivakumar’s strategy and image for the past six months. It has also been involved in Congress campaigns in Assam and Chhattisgarh.
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Income Tax officials landed at DesignBoxed MD Naresh Arora’s room at the JW Marriott Hotel and his office, located close to Shivakumar’s residence, in the city. According to sources, 10 tax officials searched the premises and seized computers, hard discs and mobile phones. Questioning of Arora, DesignBoxed co-founder Guljit, and its employees was also underway on Tuesday afternoon.
DesignBoxed was hired by Shivakumar to handle Karnataka Congress publicity and strategy in April. But it’s perceived aggressive style of functioning and a Shivakumar-centric campaign led to murmurs of discontent among top party leaders, including former CM Siddaramaiah. Following resistance from party members, Shivakumar hired the first in a personal capacity, sources in the Karnataka Congress said.
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Terming the raids a “vendetta”, a close associate of Shivakumar told News18, “The ruling BJP is scared that the Congress will come back to power in Karnataka. They can’t fight us politically. That’s why they are resorting to dirty tricks like this.”
When contacted, DK Shivakumar said that he had no official confirmation on the raids and would comment after getting to know the facts.