With IT searches on his properties concluding on Saturday Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar reunited with 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat and put up a show of strength before the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru and a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Vidhana Soudha – the seat of the Karnataka government. The Karnataka minister who has been hosting the MLAs from Gujarat at a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru became the subject of an IT investigation on Wednesday with searches being conducted at 70 premises linked to him and associates.
The Congress party has alleged that the IT investigations were politically motivated to target the minister for sheltering the Gujarat Congress MLAs. The MLAs were moved to Bengaluru by the Congress party to prevent them from poached by the BJP in an effort to defeat senior Congress leader and Sonia Gandhi aide Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for August 8.
Soon after the IT searches concluded Shivakumar emerged from his home on Saturday morning and met the Gujarat Congress MLAs at the Karnataka Raj Bhavan where they were meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala who is a former BJP minister from Gujarat.
The MLAs and Shivakumar put up a united front and claimed they were all together. “We remain united,”Congress leader from Gujarat Shakti Singh Gohil said at the Raj Bhavan.
Shivakumar later travelled to the Vidhana Soudha with the MLAs and posed for photographs at the Gandhi statue and other places around the building. He had a private meeting in the legislature with the Gujarat MLAs.
“I have not done anything illegal or unconstitutional. I will speak of the IT searches after I am provided details of all that was found. The truth cannot be hidden,” Shivakumar said.
The Congress Minister’s brother D K Suresh who was in Delhi to vote in the vice president polls in his capacity as a member of parliament said he would begin arrangements to transport the 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs to Ahmedabad on his return to Bengaluru on Saturday evening.