CBI Takes Former Karnataka Minister Into Custody, State Congress Backs Him

I fully stand by Vivek Kulkarni, state Congress chief DK Shivakumar said.

CBI Takes Former Karnataka Minister Into Custody, State Congress Backs Him

Karnataka Congress Chief DK Shivakumar himself has had trouble with the CBI of late.

Bengaluru:

Vinay Kulkarni, a former Congress minister in Karnataka, has been taken into custody by the CBI in connection with a 2016 murder case in which BJP zilla panchayat member Yogeeshgouda Goudar was killed inside a Dharwad gymnasium in northern Karnataka. Goudar's relatives had subsequently asked for the case to be handed over to the CBI.

Reacting to Mr Kulkarni's arrest, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted:

State Congress President, D K Shivakumar, also alleged it was a political move. "I fully stand by Vivek Kulkarni and Congress leaders. They are in no way responsible...This is all politics. There is no involvement in this by any of our party members," he told reporters.

DK Shivakumar has had his own run-ins with the CBI, having been raided by the agency only last month. He advised CBI officers not to give in to political pressure, reminding them of a case involving former Karnataka Home Minister, K J George, and the suicide of a police officer. Earlier this week, Mr George was cleared of all charges.

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"I just want to tell the CBI - take him (Mr Kulkarni) as many times as you want. You have the right. But don't yield to this political pressure. Your office should not become a political weapon," Mr Shivakumar said. "K J George was harassed so much. He had to resign. But today they have given him a clean chit."

The Congress in Karnataka has often alleged that the CBI and other central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the IT department were being misused by the Centre to settle political scores.