Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday slammed the centre for arresting Congress leader DK Shivakumar, saying the government was using investigation agencies to "oppress" the opposition leaders who were a "threat to their interests". The Janata Dal Secular leader's support for Mr Shivakumar came amid tension between the two allies following a bitter exchange between their leaders over the Lok Sabha polls debacle.
Mr Shivakumar, who was being questioned for the fourth day by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case in Delhi, was arrested on Tuesday. The agency claimed he was not cooperating in the investigation.
"After days of interrogation, without allowing even a day's break for the festival, ED now cites non-cooperation to arrest DK Shivakumar. The ruling government is using investigation agencies to oppress those opposition leaders who they think are a threat to their interests," HD Kumaraswamy tweeted.
Congress leader Siddaramaiah also slammed the Enforcement Directorate's move.
"Opposition leaders are being targeted each and every day using the central government's agencies. It is just an attempt to divert the attention from the structural failures of the BJP government and also to prevent the voices of dissent. He is also a victim of their vindictive politics," he tweeted.
"He will definitely come out clean and the whole country will understand the ulterior motives of the BJP. We are all with him in this difficult times and shall provide him with full support," he added.
Mr Shivakumar had played a crucial role in keeping the Congress's flock together after the assembly election last year. The party went onto to stitch a post-poll alliance, denying the BJP-- the single largest party-- an opportunity to form a government.
.@DKShivakumar will definitely come out clean & the whole country will understand the ulterior motives of @BJP4India. We are all with him in this difficult times & shall provide him with full support.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) September 3, 2019
He also tried to bring back the Congress-JDS MLAs, who had resigned from the assembly in July, triggering a political crisis in the state. The Karnataka government, however, collapsed eventually after it failed a trust vote, a month after the alliance could win only two of the 28 Lok Sabha seats.
Earlier this month, HD Deve Gowda -- the JDS chief-- said the Congress had been "wrong" in making his son, HD Kumaraswamy, the Chief Minister without consulting Siddaramaiah. Reacting to the comment, the Congress leader had blamed his allies for the Lok Sabha defeat.