Congress trouble-shooter DK Shivakumar held by ED

Bengaluru: Just weeks after Congress trouble-shooter DK Shivakumar bitterly and often maliciously took on the BJP on the floor of the Assembly during the confidence vote moved by former chief minister HD Kumraswamy, the Enforcement Directorate dug up some old cases against him and had him arrested on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, he was subjected to rigorous grilling by the ED which was investigating cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Following his arrest, the Karnataka Congress has called for a state-wide bandh on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that the ED had registered money laundering cases against Shivakumar and others in September last year. Later, a chargesheet (prosecution complaint) was filed by the Income Tax Department in a court here for alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.

Reacting to his arrest, DKS tweeted: “I congratulate my BJP friends for finally being successful in their mission to arrest me. The IT and ED cases against me are politically motivated and I am a victim of BJP’s politics of vengeance and vendetta. I appeal to my party cadre, supporters and well-wishers to not be disheartened as I have done nothing illegal. I have full faith in God & in our country’s Judiciary and am very confident that I will emerge victorious both legally and politically against this vendetta politics.”

The seven-time legislator had filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the summons issued to him in the Rs 7-crore money laundering case.

However, the petition was dismissed last Thursday after which ED officials from Bengaluru and Delhi approached him with a fresh summons late night on Thursday. Before leaving Bengaluru, Shivakumar had called it a conspiracy and termed the “sudden scheduling” by the ED as “malafide”.

“Although the sudden scheduling by ED is malafide, I believe in rule of law & will definitely participate & fully co-operate with them and abide by the law of our country,” he wrote on Twitter.

Several Karnataka political leaders slammed the ED move calling it vendetta politics by the ruling BJP. Former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, among others, have condemned the action against Shivakumar.

“Misusing investigative agencies for revenge is condemnable. The Central government is simply taking revenge against him (Shivakumar) for sheltering Gujarat Congress MLAs in 2017,” Siddaramaiah said. Following the arrest of DKS, stones were pelted on 5 KSRTC buses in Satanur, the native place of Shivakumar, and in Channapatana and Ramanagara.

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