Congress leader DK Shivakumar has drawn flak from some of his party leaders for holding the JDS flag when he returned Bengaluru from Delhi after getting bail in a money laundering case. A video of the incident has since gone viral.
Shivakumar, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate, and in judicial custody at the Tihar Jail, returned on Saturday to a rousing welcome here, where besides Congress leaders, there were those from the JDS waiting to receive him.
When he was being taken in a procession in a flower-bedecked vehicle, a JDS worker handed over a party flag to him which the Congress leader received, waved it for a while and returned it to him.
A video of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah criticising Shivakumar for the act, in a private conversation, is also now in wide circulation in social media.
In the video, Siddaramaiah is heard saying that Lingayats, a prominent community of Karnataka seen backing the BJP, are now distancing themselves with Lingayat strongman and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, and the Vokkaligas, another dominant community, are disenchanted with JDS and H D Kumaraswamy.
Justifying his act, Shivakumar said, “... wherever I go, people give me a number of flags including the Kannada flag and people from all walks of life come to meet me. Even now there are three JDS MLAs waiting to meet me. Can I tell them not to come?”
Shivakumar insisted that holding flag was not a big deal as he has been “a born Congressman”. “I came straight to the Congress office, which is a temple for me,” he clarified.
Siddaramaiah termed making the video of his private conversation an act of mischief as it was an internal discussion.
Seeking to downplay Siddaramaiah’s criticism, Shivakumar said, “Siddaramaiah has lots of love towards me.” Kumaraswamy slammed Siddaramaiah for his comment in the video.
“Siddaramaiah is pure secular and we, who had supported him, are communal,” Kumaraswamy sarcastically said.
“Shivakumar might have held the JDS flag because some of our party workers went to support him. It doesn’t require a big analysis,” Kumaraswamy said.