Even as the Congress slammed the BJP for ‘political vendetta’ over arrest of its senior leader DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has said that he is praying for ‘early release’ of former minister. According to an NDTV report, the Karnataka Chief Minister said that the arrest of Shivakumar ‘didn’t bring him any joy’. However, he added that ‘justice will take its own course.’ The senior leader known for his stellar skills as Congress troubleshooter was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday in New Delhi. The arrest followed a prolonged and intense session of grilling in the money laundering case.
The arrest has brought JDS, the sulking ally of Congress, closer to it. HD Kumaraswamy also expressed his anguish over Shivakumar’s arrest. "After days of interrogation, without allowing even a day's break for the festival, ED now cites non-cooperation to arrest DK Shivakumar. The ruling government is using investigation agencies to oppress those opposition leaders who they think are a threat to their interests," Kumaraswamy said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Congress has called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka today. Former Chief Minister and senior leader Siddaramaiah hit out at the BJP for using the ED for serving its own cause. "Opposition leaders are being targeted each and every day using the central government's agencies. It is just an attempt to divert the attention from the structural failures of the BJP government and also to prevent the voices of dissent. He is also a victim of their vindictive politics," he said on micro-blogging site.
"He will definitely come out clean and the whole country will understand the ulterior motives of the BJP. We are all with him in this difficult times and shall provide him with full support," he added.
The ED had filed a PMLA case against Shivakumar and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.