The Congress party on Tuesday was on the defensive after a turbulent time when the big honcho of Congress, P. Chidambaram was arrested last month. Now, another big name, in this case from Karnataka Congress has bitten the dust. DK Shivakumar, one of the wealthiest leaders of Congress party has come under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Congress leader, who had long been discussed as a possible CM candidate for Congress, and is a well-known troubleshooter for the party, has reportedly been evading questions by the ED on money laundering charges after being brought in last Friday. Being evasive and uncooperative during the interrogation led to his arrest by the ED on Tuesday and this has left the congress and left-liberals seething through their teeth.
The rise of DK Shivakumar is one of the fairytales in the Karnataka political circuit. He contested the 1989 elections as an independent candidate. But just two years later became the youngest minister in the state at the age of 30, serving as a Minister of State under Chief Minister S Bangarappa from 1991 to 1992. Bangarappa reposed his faith in Shivakumar after he was essential to building up support for him (Bangarappa) in the state as a CM candidate. According to his election affidavit filed prior to the 2013 polls, he declared a mammoth amount of wealth of Rs 251 crore, which made him the second richest minister in the country at that time courtesy a TOI report. He has held Energy, Urban Development and Home portfolios in previous congress governments and therefore it comes as no shocker as to how he amassed such enormous wealth in a relatively short time period. He has been alleged to have been involved in illegal granite mining where he along with his family, were issued notices by the Karnataka High Court in 2015.
He was also a party to land-grabbing cases along with his brother DK Suresh in the Shantinagar Housing Cooperative Society case, but was later very conveniently given a clean chit by his cabinet colleague HS Mahadev Prasad. How Congress’ troubleshooter in Karnataka amassed so much wealth is a question that needs answers and investigation.
Shivakumar will be produced before a designated court in Delhi today where ED is expected to seek his custody for further interrogation. They have booked him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Shivakumar has been the centre of attention of various other agencies too with the IT department raiding him at Eagleton Golf Resort in August 2017 where he had gathered a group of MLA’s from Gujarat to shield them away from any poaching attempts during the Rajya Sabha polls.
During the questioning, he was asked about the source of Rs 7.5 crore cash recovered from his residence in Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave, and also the recovering of Rs 2.5 crore from his Bangalore residence premises. It is learnt that ED repeatedly asked Shivakumar about some of the shell firms and his alleged association with them, but the Congress leader remained mum.
Some of the left-liberal journalists have been left fuming after the arrest of once-a-prospective-CM-candidate. Calling out the whole procedure of ED as a political vendetta on the part of BJP, these journalists have left very little to the imagination as to where their allegiances lie. Despite the bleak arguments in favour of his innocence, left-liberal journalists have been worried out of their wits.
Congress leaders are being arrested one after the other and one sees no counter response from Cong or from the opposition in general. At this rate there will be no one left to protest when CBI/ED go for the very top 2 or 3!
— M K Venu (@mkvenu1) September 3, 2019
If it is the Congress party’s case that the arrests of P Chidambaram and DK Shivakumar are about political vendetta, where are the protests? Where’s the anger? Why isn’t the Congress taking to the streets? Perhaps there is no Congress party left, perhaps they have all joined BJP.
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) September 3, 2019
DK Shivkumar’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate is the price one pays for humiliating the most powerful man in India. Politics of vendetta has never been this vindictive.
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) September 3, 2019
“The arrest of Shivakumar is illegal. He is innocent. There is not an iota of evidence against him. The mismanagement and anarchy is only to target Congress leaders.” said Randeep Surjewal, official spokesperson of Congress who went berserk defending his party-men.
DK Shivakumar should cooperate with the investigative agencies if he has nothing to hide. It is deplorable that people have jumped to his defence undermining the ED’s authority to investigate, whereas the congress is yet again being its stubborn self in calling out its members to hold protest demonstrations at all district headquarters in the State, despite the case being an on-going investigation. Several reports have come in that Congress supporters have torched and pelted stones on public buses at the Kanakpura main bus depot. It is interesting to note that Congress party has time and again defended their corrupt and high-profile leaders and that raises a serious question mark on the party’s moral structure and code. The I-T department has provided ‘corroborative” evidence to the ED which is expected to make the case strong against the former Karnataka minister. It was only a matter of time when noose around the neck of Shivakumar was tightened and he was brought in the net of Enforcement agencies.