The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday searched the residences and an office of Karnataka Congress MLA DK Shivakumar’s associates, reported PTI. The legislator’s associates are accused of illegally exchanging demonetised currency notes.

Corporation Bank chief manager B Prakash connived with “unknown others” to illegally exchange demonetised currency notes worth Rs 10 lakh with new notes on November 14, 2016, the CBI alleged. Prakash is also accused of fabricating requisition slips to cover up the act, reported PTI.

Shivakumar and his brother, Congress MP DK Suresh, claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party was using the the agency to conspire against them. “The BJP central leadership has been hounding my brother and I to join their party,” The News Minute quoted Shivakumar as saying at a press conference in Bengaluru. “We have never been scared of their threats and never will be. The central agencies must keep in mind that they should not give into political pressure.”

Shivakumar said he was ready to move court against the “vindictive action”. In an apparent reference to the CBI, he said: “They have given you certain respect so don’t be a puppet in their hands and cause harm to others.”

The CBI, in a press release, said that searches were conducted in Bengaluru, Kanakapura and Ramanagara at an office and residences of Shivakumar’s aides Shivananda, Nanjappa and Padmanabaiah, who allegedly exchanged the demonetised notes at the bank.

In August, the Income Tax department raided properties owned by Shivakumar and his family and associates. Investigators are believed have recovered more than Rs 300 crore in undisclosed income and cash and jewellery worth nearly Rs 15 crore.