DK brothers fear arrest, seek Modi's intervention

DK brothers fear arrest, seek Modi's intervention

BJP says letter released by DK Suresh is “fake and photoshopped”

Minister D K Shivakumar and his brother and parliamentarian D K Suresh (second from left) walk out of the Income Tax office after questioning by officials, in Bengaluru. (DH File Pic)

Congress MP D K Suresh on Saturday claimed that he and his brother, state Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, may be arrested by central agencies, which he alleged was part of the BJP’s “politics of revenge.”

Shivakumar and Suresh were raided by I-T sleuths last year and about 80 places linked to them were searched. The I-T department has filed four prosecution cases so far against the minister. Suresh represents the Bengaluru Rural constituency in the Lok Sabha.

“At any cost, they want to arrest Shivakumar and destabilise the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka. To do this, BJP leaders are misusing I-T department, ED and CBI,” Suresh told a press conference, adding that the I-T department, ED and the CBI had become “morchas of the BJP".

Suresh released a copy of a letter written by BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa on January 10, 2017, to the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes Sushil Chandra, seeking action against Shivakumar and Suresh “for irregularities and corruption".

The saffron party is also trying to use “backdoor tactics” to pressurise Shivakumar, Suresh alleged, to help achieve its mission of winning 25 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.

Brothers played key role

Shivakumar and Suresh played a key role in the Congress-JD(S) alliance coming to power by keeping the BJP from poaching legislators. Last year, Shivakumar was tasked with safeguarding 44 Gujarat legislators in a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

The brothers are also close to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. In the May 12 Assembly polls, there was a talk of a "secret pact" between Kumaraswamy and Shivakumar - both Vokkaliga leaders. 

The JD(S) fielded an unknown candidate against Shivakumar in his Kanakapura constituency, in exchange for the Congress fielding a weak candidate against Kumaraswamy in the Ramanagara constituency. The two leaders are widely believed to have worked together to defeat the BJP's C P Yogeeshwara in the Channapatna constituency. Kumaraswamy won from both Ramanagara and Channapatna constituencies. 

Also read: I-T raids: brazen misuse of power

Suresh claimed that he and his brother have not committed any crime. “I got a CBI notice 10 days ago. I went to their office and answered all their questions. We are cooperating with the central agencies. We will face arrests if it comes to that. We will face whatever comes our way. There’s no question of yielding to pressure. We have faith in the judiciary and the Constitution,” he said. 

Suresh said he had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw his attention to the issue of misuse of central agencies.

“I don’t know if he’s aware that the ruling party leaders are misusing the agencies. Strong leaders from every other state - Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal among others - are being targetted,” he alleged.

“My brother is not the lone target of the BJP in Karnataka. There are two-three others, whose names I will not disclose now. Besides using pressure tactics, the BJP is also indulging in horse trading. They have made offers to seven MLAs, asking them to jump ship,” Suresh added.

BJP calls it ''fake letter''

In a quick reaction, the BJP said the letter Suresh released was “fake and photoshopped.” In a series of tweets, the BJP pointed out differences in the letterhead of the “fake” letter by posting an image of another letter Yeddyurappa had written. “The DK brothers are desperately feeding fake narratives to media about Karnataka BJP trying to influence IT & ED by releasing fake letters...” the party tweeted.  

Reacting to the letter, Yeddyurappa called it "fake" and said he had never indulged in such cheap politics "and would retire from politics if it’s proven."

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