- Ex-Karnataka minister summoned by probe agency in money-laundering case
- DK Shivakumar is seen as chief troubleshooter of the Karnataka Congress
- Many properties linked to him were raided by Income Tax officials in 2017
Karnataka Congress's chief troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi on Friday for being questioned in connection with a money-laundering case. The former minister faces arrest after his request for protection from arrest was rejected by the Karnataka High Court on Thursday.
He was summoned by the probe agency on Thursday night night after his petition challenging the summons was rejected by the Karnataka High Court.
"I am a law-abiding citizen. I have legal options which I am exploring," Mr Shivakumar said after landing in the capital.
Addressing reporters in the morning before leaving for Delhi, he described the manner in which he was summoned. "I came home at 9:35 pm. We had gone out as a family. Immediately, ED (Enforcement Directorate) officers came and gave me a summons. They said to come at 1 pm. I said that I have personal and family commitments. Gauri Pooja preparations are there. I asked for more time," he said.
The Enforcement Directorate registered a money-laundering case against DK Shivakumar and a few others in September last year for alleged tax evasion and illegal transactions worth crores.
"My great friend Chief Minister (BS) Yediyurappa had said in the assembly that he will not indulge in the vindictive politics, but now after assuming the office he has sown the seed of vindictiveness," he said.
"Please don't take tension, I have not taken tension, there is no need to take tension. I have not committed any mistake. I have not committed any rape or taken money, there is nothing against me," Mr Shivakumar told reporters in Bengaluru on Friday morning, adding that he is being targeted.
The Congress leader has approached the Karnataka High Court's division bench against Thursday's order that rejected his petition against the probe agency's summons.
Mr Shivakumar, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi and others have been named in the money-laundering case.
"From the past two years, the entire property of my 84-year-old mother has been attached by various investigation authorities as benami property and I am the benami there. Our entire blood has already been sucked," he told reporters.
Have received summons from ED late yesterday night at 9.40 PM asking for me to appear at 1PM in Delhi today.— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) August 30, 2019
Although the sudden scheduling by ED is malafide, I believe in rule of law & will definitely participate & fully co-operate with them and abide by the law of our country.
Mr Shivakumar, a politician known for his negotiation skills, played a big role in forming the JD(S)-Congress coalition and led the Congress's attempts to convince the rebel MLAs before their government collapsed in July. Last month, he tried every possible ruse in his book to enter a five-star hotel in Mumbai where a group of rebel MLAs were staying. He waited outside the hotel for hours and stood in rain as he tried to convince the police to let him go inside.
Often called "DK Shi" in Karnataka's political circles, Mr Shivakumar, 57, made national headlines that year when he agreed to accommodate 44 party legislators from Gujarat at a resort to prevent them from being poached by the BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election. Soon after, Income Tax officials came knocking on Mr Shivakumar's door.Several properties linked to the Congress leader were also raided in August 2017.
He said that the Income Tax raids were "politically motivated" for hosting the Gujarat MLAs.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
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