Hounded for loyal work for Congress: Shivakumar

Hounded for loyal work for Congress: Shivakumar

Congress leader D K Shivakumar waves at his supporters after addressing a press meet at his residence in Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru, on Friday. DH Photo

Beleaguered Congress leader D K Shivakumar who left for New Delhi after he was subpoenaed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), alleged political conspiracy in a charged news conference here on Friday.

He said he was hounded by Central agencies due to the loyal work he had done for his party. Shivakumar, known as the Congress’ Man Friday, said he was exploring all legal options to fight his way out. 

"My political opponents are using all legal means for my character assassination. We are also trying to thwart their schemes in a legal manner," he said.

The former minister said that he was not afraid and would not run away from these agencies. "I will face this legally, politically and socially. I will respond to the summons," he said, accusing several politicians and officials as co-conspirators in a ploy to defame him. The names of these officials, he said, would be revealed.

Shivakumar said that he was being hounded since August 2017 by Central agencies after he had the "responsibility of securing Gujarat (Congress) MLAs" during which Income Tax department had used Central Reserve Police Force for the first time in Karnataka to raid his, his friends' and relatives' properties. 

'Sister also under scanner'

"We have submitted affidavits relating to all the money found during I-T raids. They are not satisfied with our response and are seeking more clarification," he said. Even the I-T returns filed for the year 2019-20 are now being re-assessed by the department, he alleged.

The I-T department had also ruled that all my properties were benami, which we are fighting in court, he said. "Even my mother's properties were termed benami, including her house in Kanakapura," he said, adding that his sister was also under the scanner of these agencies.

Taking a dig at I-T and ED for turning a blind eye towards Operation Lotus, he questioned why they weren't keen on investigating it.

"What about Operation Lotus? What happened to that? Inside the Assembly JD(S) MLA Srinivas Gowda accused MLAs of offering Rs 5 crore. Why did I-T or ED not issue a notice to these BJP MLAs?" he sought to know.