After grilling DK Shivakumar for the fifth day, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested the senior Congress leader under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Following his arrest, the Karnataka Congress has called for a state-wide bandh on Wednesday.
The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar and others based on a chargesheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department in a court here for alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. Follow Karnataka bandh LIVE Updates here
“I congratulate my BJP friends for finally being successful in their mission of arresting me. The IT and ED cases against me are politically motivated and I am a victim of BJP’s politics of vengeance and vendetta. I appeal to my party cadre, supporters and well-wishers to not be disheartened as I have done nothing illegal. I have full faith in God & in our country’s Judiciary and am very confident that I will emerge victorious both legally and politically against this vendetta politics,” Shivakumar tweeted.
Read | Who is DK Shivakumar?
Earlier in the day, several Karnataka political leaders cried foul on the continuous grilling by ED alleging vendetta politics by the ruling BJP. Former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah among others have condemned the action against Shivakumar, calling it vindictive.
The seven-time legislator had filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the summons issued to him in the Rs 7-crore money laundering case. However, the petition was dismissed last Thursday after which ED officials from Bengaluru and Delhi approached him with a fresh summons notice late night on Thursday. Before leaving Bengaluru, Shivakumar had called it a conspiracy and termed the “sudden scheduling” by the ED as “malafide”.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao accused the BJP of using investigating agencies to “vindictively targeting” opposition leaders and said the party stood with Shivakumar. “Vindictively targeting opposition leaders, using agencies to harass and humiliate them is a specific agenda of BJP. D K Shivakumar has been bearing the brunt since two years. We are with him in this fight against an authoritarian regime,” Rao tweeted.
“Misusing investigative agencies for revenge is condemnable. The Central government is simply taking revenge against him (Shivakumar) by using the powers of the IT and ED for sheltering Gujarat Congress MLAs in 2017,” Siddaramaiah had said.