A case has been registered against Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar for collecting Rs 75 crore as disproportionate assets, the CBI said in a statement on Monday, after it raided 14 properties linked to the leader in three states - Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The leader said the action against him was part of the BJP's "vendetta politics".
"This raid is a continuation of BJP's vendetta politics against me. Congress was fighting on behalf of people ever since Corona & exposing the failures of BJP Govt. Such raids wont stop me from fighting against injustice. We will win against such tactics in the court of the people," he (sic) tweeted.
This raid is a continuation of BJP's vendetta politics against me— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) October 5, 2020
Congress was fighting on behalf of people ever since Corona & exposing the failures of BJP Govt
Such raids wont stop me from fighting against injustice
We will win against such tactics in the court of the people
The CBI, in a statement, said it has found "incriminating material" in the raid.
"The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against former Minister of Karnataka Government (presently MLA) on the allegations of possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 74.93 crore (approx) in his name and in the name of his family members," the CBI statement read.
"Searches were conducted today at 14 locations including Karnataka, Delhi, Mumbai at the premises of said MLA and others which led to recovery of cash of Rs 57 lakh(approx) and several incriminating documents including property documents, bank related information, computer hard disk," it added.
The raids, which began at around 6:30 am, have been called by the Congress an "attempt to derail our preparation for bypolls" in Karnataka.
DK Shivakumar's home in Sadashivanagar, an upscale locality in Bengaluru, was one of the many locations searched by the investigative agency. Just across the road, the home of his brother - MP DK Suresh - was also searched.
The alleged corruption case against the Karnataka Congress chief was registered by the CBI based on the inputs shared by the Enforcement Directorate over a money laundering probe. "Searches are being conducted today at 14 locations including nine in Karnataka, four in Delhi, and one in Mumbai," the probe agency said this morning in a statement.
Last year, the 58-year-old Congress leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate after four days of questioning over money-laundering allegations.
The September 2019 arrest involved tax raids on Mr Shivakumar in 2017, when Rs 8.6 crore in "undisclosed income" was allegedly found. The figure was revised to Rs 11 crore later. The Enforcement Directorate had filed a money laundering case against Mr Shivakumar in 2018, based on a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax department.
During the money laundering probe, the Enforcement Directorate had forwarded some of their findings to the CBI last year. This is the first CBI case against the 58-year-old Congress leader.
Today, AS Ponnana, the Congress leader's lawyer, told reporters: "Every time, there is an election, will they keep raiding his house? There should be some sanctity - something to the rule of law. This is not a lawful action. I don't think there is a doubt in anybody's mind. You don't need a legal mind for that. The public is aware why this is happening. The by-elections are announced, he is one of the star campaigners, he is KPCC president. It is only a politically motivated action."
Responding to the searches, ex-Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah tweeted: "@BJP4India has always tried to indulge in vindictive politics & mislead public attention. The latest CBI raid on @KPCCPresident @DKShivakuma 's house is another attempt to derail our preparation for bypolls. I strongly condemn this."
.@BJP4India is against social justice and inturn reservation. They are betraying people by disregarding the report submitted by the BC commission.@BSYBJP should immediately accept the report & implement it.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) October 3, 2020
Bypolls will be held in Karnataka on November 3. The Congress has often alleged the CBI is being used by the ruling BJP to target the rivals.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala today attacked the BJP on Twitter. "The insidious game of intimidation & machinations of Modi-Yeddyurappa duo being executed by a puppet CBI by raiding @DKShivakumar won't deter us. CBI should be unearthing the layers of corruption in Yeddyurappa Govt.
2/2— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 5, 2020
Let Modi & Yeddyurappa Govts & BJP's frontal organizations i.e CBI-ED-Income Tax know that Congress workers & leaders will not be cowed down nor bow down before such devious attempts.
Our resolve to fight for people & expose BJP's maladministration only becomes stronger. https://t.co/AfoJgxOsGl
The BJP, hitting back, tweeted:
There were no CBI - IT - ED raids on any @INCIndia leaders during 2014 & 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Still CONgress was decimated in the Elections.— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) October 5, 2020
Even @RahulGandhi lost very badly from Amethi.
Any answer, dear @INCKarnataka?
WHY are your leaders panicking if they are Saints? https://t.co/Tw1Mq0U0yY
The two bypolls - in Rajarajeshhwari Nagar and Sira - are not crucial in terms of numbers. The BJP has just too many MLAs in the 224-member assembly to be in any danger. But the Congress and ally JDS would not like to lose these seats that they had held, while the ruling party would not want a defeat either.