Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Monday clarified that the CBI searches on properties linked to state Congress President D K Shivakumar were not politically motivated and it has nothing to do with the November 3 bypolls to two assembly constituencies in the state. "Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate had earlier raided Shivakumar and CBI raids may be continuation of it, so let's not paint it with political colour," Narayan was quoted as saying by his office in a statement.
He said the system was bigger than any person in society. "Let the truth come out," the deputy chief minister said.
Shivakumar himself has said in the past that he will cooperate with the investigation and it was an opportunity for him to prove his honesty, he pointed out. "It is not right to do politics on such a delicate issue. Some people are trying to get mileage by terming it politically motivated. There is no connection between the raids and the by-elections," he maintained.
Searches are underway by the CBI at 14 locations linked to state Congress president D K Shivakumar in connection with allegations of acquisition of disproportionate assets. Congress leaders have hit out at the BJP governments at the Centre and the state for the CBI searches, questioning its timing ahead of November 3 bypolls to Sira and R R Nagar Assembly segments.
Party workers are staging protests in front of Shivakumar's residence and various places, against the CBI search, calling the agency as an "agent of BJP." Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said if the raid was politically motivated, "there are other leaders like Siddaramaiah who had led the government for five years. Why hasn't he been subjected to CBI raids," he asked as he accused the Congress of politicising the matter and playing the victim card.
Taking a dig at Congress partys claim that the raids were politically motivated, the Minister said Home Minister Amit Shah was barred from entering Gujarat for two years during UPA tenure. Also, CBI raids were conducted on various political opponents including the present Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy during UPA rule.
He asked whether these raids too were a result of political vendetta, Responding to the claim that the raid has been conducted in the light of upcoming bypolls, Sudhakar said, "Our government has been formed with absolute majority and BJP doesn't believe in vendetta politics. Bypoll results will not have any impact on the government and hence one cannot correlate the raid to elections."