The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday said Congress leader DK Shivakumar amassed disproportionate assets worth over Rs 74 crore as minister in the Karnataka government.
Shivakumar, currently the state Congress chief, served as a minister in Karnataka government, first under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and then under HD Kumaraswamy in JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
CBI on Monday searched multiples premises in connection with a corruption case related to the Congress' state unit chief and his brother. The central agency has till now recovered Rs 50 lakh from 14 locations in Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra it has searched in the case that pertains to amassing of disproportionate assets, officials said.
The CBI has registered a fresh case against the Congress leader based on source information from another agency. The information relates to assets amassed during Shivakumar's tenure as a minister in Karnataka, officials said.
Following the registration of FIR, CBI teams started searches on Monday morning at 14 locations -- nine in Karnataka, four in Delhi and one in Mumbai.
According to sources, places that are being searched include properties of Shivakumar's brother and MP from Bengaluru Rural D K Suresh.
The Congress has accused the BJP of playing an "insidious game of intimidation" through its "puppet CBI" after the agency conducted raids against its Karnataka unit chief.
The opposition party questioned the timing of the raids, as by-election to two assembly seats in Karnataka is to be held on November 3, and termed it as "witch-hunt" by the BJP against its political rivals.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the "raid raj" will not deter it from unearthing "corruption and maladministration" by the BJP governments.
"The insidious game of intimidation and machinations of Modi-Yeddyurappa duo being executed by a puppet CBI by raiding DK Shivakumar won't deter us.
"CBI should be unearthing the layers of corruption in the Yeddyurappa Government. But, 'Raid Raj' is their only 'Machiavellian Move'!," he said on Twitter.
Searches were held by the CBI at 14 locations linked to Shivakumar in Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra in connection with allegations of acquisition of disproportionate assets.
State Congress leaders have hit out at the BJP governments at the Centre and in Karnataka for the CBI action, linking it to November 3 by-election to Sira and R R Nagar Assembly segments.
Party workers protested against the CBI in front of Shivakumar's residence and various places, calling the agency as an "agent of the BJP." "Let Modi and Yeddyurappa Governments and BJP's frontal organisations i.e CBI-ED-Income Tax know that Congress workers and leaders will not be cowed down nor bow down before such devious attempts," Surjewala also said.
The BJP, on the other hand, said the searches were not politically motivated and said Shivakumar should cooperate with the CBI in its investigation.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Monday said the CBI searches on properties linked to state Congress President D K Shivakumar were not politically motivated and it has nothing to do with the November 3 bypolls to two assembly constituencies in the state.
"Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate had earlier raided Shivakumar and CBI raids may be continuation of it, so let's not paint it with political colour," Narayan was quoted as saying by his office in a statement.
He said the system was bigger than any person in society.
"Let the truth come out," the deputy chief minister said.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi said Shivakumar should cooperate with the CBI in its investigation
"The CBI is doing its work. If the Congress leader is clean, he should cooperate and tell the truth," he said.
He also sought to know if D K Shivakumar's economic growth was natural as his assets grew from Rs 75 crore in 2008 to Rs 250 crore in 2013 and Rs 840 crore in 2018.
"You can respond to political issues standing in the street, but about illegal acquisition of money or illegal transfer of money, one has to respond to CBI or ED," the BJP leader said.
"There is no problem in making assets, but one needs to reveal the source of the money. If crores of rupees is kept in the name of his daughter who is still studying, he ought to respond to the CBI," Ravi added.
(With PTI inputs)