Lashing out against the BJP for “using” the Income Tax department for searches at locations and properties connected to a minister in Karnataka’s Congress government, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday called it “vendetta politics” to unsettle political opponents.

“This is nothing but vendetta politics. The BJP only believes in that, and not in democracy. We have seen such things earlier also,” the party said. 

“Whenever the BJP comes up against any opposition, they use central agencies like the CBI, ED and the IT against their political opponents. This is their nature,” Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said.

Since Wednesday morning, IT department sleuths searched the premises linked to Karnataka Minister SK Shivakumar, who has been hosting the 44 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat who have been taken to Bengaluru to prevent “poaching by the BJP” ahead of the August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in the state.

“They are trying to establish Modi raj, but in effect they are establishing a goonda Raj,” said Chatterjee.

The Trinamool leader questioned the timing of the search operation.

“Why was it conducted now? If he (Shivakumar) was indeed at fault, then why was the IT department silent so long? Is it not a fact that the raids were carried out soon after he hosted the Gujarat lawmakers?” he asked.