Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met jailed Congress leader DK Shivakumar at Delhi's Tihar Jail on Monday. Mr Shivakumar is accused of corruption in cases raised by the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate. Mr Kumaraswamy called in a "personal visit".
Mr Shivakumar, 57, a powerful Karnataka politician, was the main troubleshooter of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Mr Kumaraswamy that lost power to the BJP in July this year.
"It was a cordial meeting. He is very confident that he can face everything. He has that capacity. Whoever wants to do vengeance politics, they will be taught. This is a personal visit. We worked together. I came here to give confidence to him. He is mentally very strong. He will fight it with boldness. He has given all details and he co-operated with them very well. Anyone can guess why this is all going on," Mr Kumaraswamy told reporters after meeting his former cabinet colleague in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
The Enforcement Directorate registered a money-laundering case against Mr Shivakumar and a few others in September last year for alleged tax evasion and illegal transactions worth crores.
The Congress leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in August after he was summoned to Delhi for questioning. Mr Shivakumar's mother, wife and daughter too were summoned by the agency as part of the investigation.
Mr Shivakumar made headlines during the formation of the JD(S)-Congress government in 2018, after the assembly election gave no one party a clear majority. He persuaded MLAs to stick with the coalition instead of heading over to the BJP.
Again in July, 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 and despite the MLAs refusing to meet him.
Opposition leaders have maintained that the investigation and charges were politically motivated, and that probe agencies were being used by the ruling BJP at the centre to settle scores.
The Income Tax department's investigation into Mr Shivakumar began at a time in 2017 when he agreed to accommodate 44 party legislators from Gujarat at a resort outside Bengaluru to prevent them from being poached by the BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election.
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