News Brief

Karnataka: Congress Aspirant Yousuf Shariff Aka KGF Babu, Who Once Declared Rs 1743 Crore Assets In His Election Affidavit, Faces Income Tax Heat

Swarajya Staff

Apr 19, 2023, 05:35 PM | Updated Apr 24, 2023, 08:00 AM IST

Yousuf Shariff Aka KGF Babu
Yousuf Shariff Aka KGF Babu

Income Tax officials are conducting a raid at the Bengaluru residence of suspended Congress leader Yousuf Shariff, aka KGF Babu, as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected tax evasion, multiple Kannada TV channels reported.

The Income Tax officials are reportedly carrying out raids at 50 other locations, including residences and properties connected to Yusuf Babu.

In 2022, Yusuf Babu and one of his wives were questioned in a money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

In January 2023, Yusuf Babu was suspended from Congress over his remarks that the party would not win more than 80 seats in the Legislative Assembly elections.

Despite being suspended from the party, Yusuf Babu was widely speculated to be the front-runner for securing Congress ticket from the Chickpet assembly seat in Bengaluru city. The constituency has over 40,000 Muslim voters.

To increase his visibility in the constituency and position himself as the prime contender, Yusuf Babu engaged in various outreach activities, including distributing cash, cheques and household essentials among the residents.

Yusuf Babu also announced grandiose plans to spend close to Rs 350 crore from his personal funds to provide Rs 5,000 to each household in the constituency as part of his education and welfare scheme for five years (2022-2027). Yusuf Babu also promised free LPG cylinders to 23,000 homes,declared that he will build 3,000 houses and award 60,000 scholarships.

Miffed over the delay in securing Congress nomination, Yusuf Babu earlier this week decided to field one of his wives, Shaziya Tarannum, as an independent candidate from Chickpet. Tarannum declared assets worth a staggering Rs 1,622 crore in her election affidavit. (Yusuf has two wives -- Rukasana Taj and Shazia Tarannum and five children.)

According to a few political observers, the decision to field his wife was a signal to Congress to accommodate his aspiration.

The Congress, however, decided to field R, V Devaraj to take on the sitting BJP MLA Uday Garudachar.

Lost As Congress MLC candidate

Yusuf Babu shot to prominence after he made a sensational disclosure on the staggering scale of his wealth in the official election affidavit he filed as a Congress candidate for the Bengaluru Urban legislative council seat in 2021.

Yusuf Babu declared assets to the tune of Rs 1,743 crore (Rs 100 crore worth of movable assets and Rs 1,643 crore immovable), catapulting him as Karnataka's richest politician ahead of Hoskote legislator and state minister MTB Nagaraj.

A veteran Congress leader and close associate of former CM Siddaramaiah, Nagaraj among the 17 opposition legislators who switched allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to help the party wrest back power from JD(S)-Congress coalition.

In his affidavit, Yusuf Babu declared that he owned a hand watch worth Rs 1.10 crore and had 4.8 kg of gold, hundreds of acres of agricultural and non-agricultural land in and around Bengaluru worth Rs 1,593.27 crore.

Yusuf Babu had purchased a Rolls Royce Phantom car from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan for Rs 2 crores. However, the transport officials later confiscated the vehicle for lack of documents.

Yusuf Babu lost in the legislative council election to the ruling BJP candidate.

Hailing from Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Yusuf Babu initially worked as a daily wager in the scrap material division of Bharat Gold Mines. When his father, who operated a small bakery, suffered losses, Yusuf Babu became an auto driver. Later, he took up the scrap business, which helped him make wealth.

Yusuf Babu, however, is believed to have amassed most of his vast fortunes through land transactions.

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