Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar was Tuesday arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
A minister in the Karnataka during the JDS-Congress government, Shivakumar is referred to as Congress’ ‘troubleshooter’ and the go-to person in times of crisis. A seven-time legislator, Doddalahalli Kempegowda Shivakumar, popularly known as DKS, has lived up to his “proactive and loyal” image as a leader who puts things back in place for his party.
However, in July this year, his efforts to pacify rebel MLAs so as to keep the coalition government intact failed when the HD Kumaraswamy government lost the trust vote in the Assembly by six votes in a House where 20 coalition MLAs remained absent.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance collapsed after only 14 months of coming to power, but to his credit, Shivakumar put his foot down trying to avert the crisis.
DKS has lived his political life with the ‘troubleshooter’ image ever since he hosted Congress MLAs from Maharashtra in Bengaluru as the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government faced a similar crisis back in 2001. His managerial acumen to keep the flock together had made him popular among the corridors of power even in Delhi.
A keen political strategist, DKS later made headlines in August 2017 when he successfully managed to protect 42 Gujarat MLAs in a resort in the outskirts of Bangalore. He was widely credited for handling the situation which is believed to have led to Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha polls.
DKS was then picked by the Congress high command to safeguard legislators soon after the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections results were announced on May 15, incidentally his 56th birthday as well.
Elected from Kanakapura, a constituency that was once a JD(S) bastion, situated 55 km south to the state capital, Shivakumar’s skills in preventing the legislators from getting lured away by the BJP saw then three-day Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa not even going for a floor test in the Assembly to prove majority. This paved way for the incumbent Kumaraswamy-led coalition government to take over on May 23, 2018.
Shivakumar was first elected to the Karnataka Assembly in 1989 from Sathanur when he defeated JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda. A decade later, DKS went on to defeat HD Kumaraswamy from the same constituency. DKS secured his hat-trick win from Kanakapura in the 2018 elections.
Shivakumar had hit headlines in 2018 before the elections after declaring assets worth Rs 618 crore. Also a four-time minister, Shivakumar has held portfolios such as Prisons and Homeguards, Urban Development, Energy and Medical Education apart from the Water Resources portfolio.