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‘Vendetta Politics’: Leaders Condemn Shivakumar’s Arrest; Karnataka Congress Calls Statewide Bandh

Former Karnataka chief minister, whose Janata Dal (Secular) ran a coalition government with the Congress in Karnataka, accused the Centre of using probe agencies to oppress opposition leaders.


Updated:September 3, 2019, 11:18 PM IST
‘Vendetta Politics’: Leaders Condemn Shivakumar’s Arrest; Karnataka Congress Calls Statewide Bandh
supporter of Congress leader DK Shivakumar crying as he is dragged away by police personnel outside Delhi's RML Hospital, where the leader has been taken for medical tests (PTI)

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday condemned the arrest of senior party leader DK Shivakumar in connection with an alleged money laundering case, terming it "vendetta politics".

“We strongly condemn the high-handed tactics and vendetta politics being deployed against Congress leaders. The arrest of Shri DK Shivakumar is yet another attempt by the govt to distract the public from their failed policies and the sorry state of the economy,” the Congress party said on Twitter.

The Karnataka Congress said that Shivakumar was arrested despite ensuring full cooperation with the investigation team. “The Congress stands firmly with DKS and will fight this legally and politically,” it said.

The state unit has called a protest across Karnataka on Wednesday.

Congress leader Veerappa Moily said the present trend of tax terrorism and abuse of agencies, such as the ED and the CBI, for political witch-hunt is an alarming trend.

“The continuous interrogation and harassment [of a former minister and an investor] is writ large,” Moily said in a statement. “While investigation can be initiated but should not appear that such intent or investigation should be politically biased and also reflect persecution instead of prosecution.”

Former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy also took to Twitter to condemn the arrest, accusing the Centre of using probe agencies to oppress opposition leaders.

Kumaraswamy's JDS was a part of the coalition government with Congress, which collapses after several of the lawmakers resigned and withdrew support.

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah accused the BJP government of targeting opposition leaders to divert attention from structural failures and to prevent voices of dissent.

“Opposition leaders are being targeted each and every day using central govt agencies. It is just an attempt to divert the attention from structural failures of BJP govt and also to prevent the voices of dissent. DK Shivakumar will definitely come out clean and the whole country will understand the ulterior motives of BJP. We are all with him in this difficult times and shall provide him with full support,” Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.

Congress General Secretary in Charge of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, said the arrest is a clear case of political vendetta by the 'fascist' government at the Centre.

“After Shri Chidambaram, yet another leader facing vengeance for standing up against the horse-trading and petty politics of the BJP,” Venugopal said in a tweet.

All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev also condemned the arrest and said Shivakumar is being targeted as he has resisted the BJP's evil design. “The reasons for prosecution and arrest is simple, he is an achiever and fire fighter for Congress and he has resisted every evil design of the BJP. DK Shivakumar is a target of malicious vendetta,” she said.

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