New Delhi: Minutes after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case on Tuesday evening, senior Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, congratulated the BJP for arresting him.
"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," Shivakumar tweeted.
The 57-year-old Congress leader assured his party workers that he will emerge victorious against alleged Vendetta politics
"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 and in our country's judiciary and am very confident that I will emerge victorious both legally and politically against this vendetta politics," said another tweet.
Meanwhile, his home base of Ramanagara has declared a bandh to protest against his arrest. The Congress and the JD(S) too expressed their outrage. The ED is expected to seek custody of him for eight days on the grounds that he has not been cooperating with the investigation.
The agency, which is inquiring into the Rs 8.59 crore recovered from Shivakumar’s New Delhi flat, his alleged role in some hawala transactions and alleged disproportionate assets, gave no clue of an imminent arrest during the last four days.
Sources said: “The ED sleuths decided to arrest D K Shivakumar when he failed to satisfactorily reply to the questions put before him. He was giving conflicting versions during questioning.” Shivakumar appeared before the agency for the fourth time on Tuesday. He was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added. Shivakumar will be produced before a local court here on Wednesday for seeking his custody.
Shivakumar had for the first time appeared before the agency after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him.
The ED had in September last year registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar and others. The ED case was filed on the basis of a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income-Tax Department against him last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores of rupees.
Shivakumar has repeatedly indicated that his instrumental role in ensuring the safe stay of Gujarat Congress MLAs in a Karnataka resort during the Rajya Sabha polls in 2017, amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach them, was the reason for the Income Tax searches and subsequent ED action of the central agencies against him.
On Tuesday afternoon, officials did not give the former minister a lunch break despite the food brought from his brother, DK Suresh’s house, being delivered inside its office. By evening, the Delhi police began standing guard around the ED office and at around 8 pm, Suresh was summoned inside and informed that Shivakumar had been taken into custody.