- DK Shivakumar was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday
- The agency will produce him in court on Wednesday to seek his custody
- Mr Shivakumar's arrest follows that of his party colleague, P Chidambaram
Senior Karnataka Congress leader and the party troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, who was being investigated in a case of alleged money laundering, was arrested on Tuesday evening. The Enforcement Directorate, which was questioning him over the last four days, said he was not cooperating with the investigation and needs to be questioned while in custody.
Mr Shivakumar is spent the night at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where he was brought by the Enforcement Directorate for a medical check up.
The agency will produce him in court on Wednesday to seek his custody.
The Congress said Mr Shivakumar's arrest was "vendetta politics" by the centre and an attempt "to distract the public from their failed policies & the sorry state of the economy".
Soon after his arrest, a tweet from Mr Shivakumar's account "congratulated" the BJP.
I appeal to my party cadre, supporters and well-wishers to not be disheartened as I have done nothing illegal.- DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) September 3, 2019
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.
Mr Shivakumar's arrest follows that of his party colleague, former Union minister P Chidambaram, in a case involving media company INX Media. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which made the arrest last month after a day of dramatic developments, contended that he was not cooperating with the investigation.
"After days of interrogation, without allowing even a day's break for the festival, ED now cites non-cooperation to arrest @DKShivakumar. The ruling govt is using investigation agencies to oppress those opposition leaders who they think are a threat to their interests," Mr Kumaraswamy's tweet read.
A minister in the erstwhile Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah and a minister in the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy, Mr Shivakumar was summoned to Delhi on Thursday. The agency's move came after the Karnataka High Court decided against the dismissal of the case and did not give him protection from arrest.
The 57-year-old left for Delhi the next day, insisting that he has no need to hide. The questioning started the same evening. But its continuation on Monday, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, became a sore point. "I have not been able to perform puja for my father. I would celebrate Ganesh Puja with my children, but they did not allow me to do so," Mr Shivakumar said, turning emotional.
The Income Tax had conducted raids on Mr Shivakumar in August 2017. Sources said they had recovered more than Rs. 300 crore in "undisclosed income". The Enforcement Directorate moved in soon after and filed the money laundering case in September last year, naming Mr Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
At the time, Mr Shivakumar was at a luxury resort in Bengaluru, guarding the Congress's flock of 43 lawmakers, flown in from Gujarat to check a rash of defections ahead of Rajya Sabha Election. The agency had picked him up from the resort for questioning, which went on overnight.