Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar returned to Bengaluru today after being granted bail in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. The agency, which investigates financial crimes, had arrested Mr Shivakumar last month on allegations of money laundering and he has spent over four weeks in Delhi's Tihar jail.
The Congress organised a big reception for their key troubleshooter who was greeted by a huge crowd. There was extra security at the airport from where he is expected to lead a procession to the Congress office.
After emerging from jail earlier this week with a new beard, 57-year-old Mr Shivakumar spent a couple of days in New Delhi meeting party leaders including party president Sonia Gandhi and the party's state in charge, K C Venugopal. "It was a moment of joy when Shri. @DKShivakumar visited me today. BJP's vendetta politics can never defeat us in our fight to save democracy," Mr Venugopal tweeted.
Sonia Gandhi reportedly assured the Mr Shivakumar that the party would do everything possible to help him overturn the "false case" foisted on him by the government.
The challenges for D K Shivakumar are not over. The Enforcement Directorate moved the Supreme Court Friday challenging the Delhi High Court decision granting him bail.
But the Congress in the state seems happy to have him back. By-elections to the seats vacated by disqualified MLAs are scheduled for December 5 - and the party needs to have as many leaders on the ground as it can.
Arrested on September 3 on charges of tax evasion and indulging in hawala transactions amounting to crores of rupees, DK Shivakumar was granted bail by the Delhi High Court on a bond of Rs. 25 lakh plus two sureties on Wednesday. While he was asked to not influence witnesses or leave the country without the court's permission, the judges said he cannot tamper with the evidence as documents relevant to the case are with the investigating agencies.