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Karnataka Congress Alleges Vendetta Politics After ED Grills Shivakumar For 5th Day, BJP Rejects Charge

Senior BJP leader and state Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries Jagadish Shettar rejected the Congress charge, saying the institutions were doing their duty and if someone felt being victimised, he cannot help it.

PTI

Updated:September 3, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
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Karnataka Congress Alleges Vendetta Politics After ED Grills Shivakumar For 5th Day, BJP Rejects Charge
File photo of former Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar. (PTI photo)
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Bengaluru: As the Enforcement Directorate grilled senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar for the fifth day in Delhi in a money laundering case, his party leaders in Karnataka once again cried foul saying their colleague was a victim of vendetta politics, a charge rejected by the BJP leaders.

State Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao accused the BJP of using investigating agencies to "vindictively targeting" opposition leaders and said the party stood with Shivakumar while former MP, V S Ugrappa called it witch hunting and took exception to the leader being summoned on Ganesha Chaturthi day for questioning.

"Vindictively targeting opposition leaders, using agencies to harass and humiliate them is a specific agenda of BJP. D K Shivakumar has been bearing the brunt since two years. We are with him in this fight against an authoritarian regime," Rao tweeted.

Senior BJP leader and state Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries Jagadish Shettar rejected the Congress charge, saying the institutions were doing their duty and if someone felt being victimised, he cannot help it.

Revenue Minister R Ashoka too junked the allegations of vindictive politics.

"Whether be it ED, CBI or any other agency, they are all independent. BJP never does such politics because we don't need to do so. Whatever is going on is as per the law," said Ashoka.

Former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah among others have condemned the action against Shivakumar, calling it vindictive.

Congress leaders on Tuesday slammed a section of BJP leaders who backed the action by the ED against Shivakumar. Shivakumar was in tears on Monday before entering the ED office in New Delhi as he expressed his anguish over the statements by Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol and Health Minister B Sriramulu.

Karjol had used a Kannada adage on Monday, which translates to "Those eating salt will have to drink water."

The adage is similar to "as you sow, so shall you reap". Sriramulu said on Monday Shivakumar was dreaming of becoming chief minister but it will remain just a dream.

"His (Shivakumar's) desire will never reach fruition. Congress has sidelined him but yet he thinks things will fall in place, which will never happen", Sriramulu had said.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Ugrappa, who is the state Congress spokesperson and a former Lok Sabha member, said Shivakumar was not a criminal. "He is not running away but yet he was summoned on Ganesha Chaturthi day. If not vendetta politics, what else is?"

Ugrappa claimed the amount of Rs eight crore cash over which ED has grilled him had been accounted for and it was a tax paid money.

"When the country's economic health is in bad shape, the government is trying to divert public attention through various means. It is pursuing the politics of vendetta. This witch hunt must stop," said Ugrappa.

Commenting on Karjol's statement using salt analogy, Ugrappa said, "I want to know what the BJP leaders ate when they went to jail."

Former minister and member of legislative council H M Revanna too slammed some BJP leaders for their statements against Shivakumar. "Shivakumar is not running away. He is there to face the probe. We are sure he will come out clean but the statements by some leaders are condemnable," Revanna told reporters.

Meanwhile, Sriramulu apologised saying he never meant to hurt anybody. "My statement was political in nature. It was never meant to hurt anybody. Yet if it has hurt Shivakumar then I incerely apologise," Sriramulu told reporters here.

The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department in a court here for alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.

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