BENGALURU: The disappearance of CCD founder VG Siddhartha triggered a political blame game on Tuesday, with opposition parties blaming enforcement agencies for “harassing” individuals. In a letter circulated widely on Tuesday, purportedly written by Siddhartha, the income tax department is blamed for curtailing his liquidity and bringing him under tremendous pressure. “The departments are harassing people. They are misusing their offices. Legal action is different. They are free to do anything but at the same time they have to give a free hand to people to come out of day-to-day difficulties. This isn’t happening in this country now,” former CM HD Kumaraswamy said. “When I heard the news this morning, I was shocked. I met him seven months back. He spoke about the income tax raids but didn’t make any charges against anyone. But I saw his last letter in the media and it is surprising. Friends also told him to sell his assets but there are some issues with a few departments,” he said. Long-time friend, Congress leader and former minister DK Shivakumar said there was “something fishy” and sought an investigation into the disappearance. “It’s unbelievable that a courageous man like him would resort to this,” Shivakumar tweeted, saying he has known closely Siddhartha and his family members for decades. Former CM Siddaramaiah, who described Siddhartha as “very ambitious and dignified”, said, “I am told that income tax and Enforcement Directorate officials regularly summoned him. There was even an I-T raid. I strongly suspect I-T officials had harassed Siddhartha.” Back in 2017, when Siddhartha’s father-in-law SM Krishna quit Congress and joined BJP, there was speculation that he wanted to help out Siddhartha. However, while Krishna joined BJP in March 2017, I-T raids on Siddhartha’s business took place in September that year.
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