Many in BJP believe it is to highlight ‘corruption’ in the Congress after they went after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s family.

Karnataka Congess leader DK Shivakumar addressing an eventDK Shivakumar
news Politics Monday, October 05, 2020 - 18:55

It is not the first time that Congress strongman, DK Shivakumar is being raided by a central agency. DKS, as he is popularly known, has been under the scanner of the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate for months now. But this time, he could be under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for two reasons, insiders from both the BJP and Congress tell TNM.

When the news of raids at various locations related to the DK brothers started trickling in, their party colleagues, right on cue, started accusing the CBI of doing the Union Government’s bidding and the Modi-led Centre of indulging in ‘vindictive politics.’ But the move was not really a shocker, say sources in Karnataka Congress. Many had seen this coming for a long time and had almost anticipated this too. But they say that they didn't think the CBI would wait this long, and had predicted trouble from the central agency just after DKS was promoted as the president of the Karnataka Congress unit.

That said, the timing now also makes sense, allege sources in Congress. With the party facing elections for the first time since DK Shivakumar took charge, it was bound to be a prestige issue for him and that he would ensure that the party does not fall short of funds for campaigning. So the CBI search operation, many believe, is to choke the funds supply ahead of the upcoming byelections slated to take place in Sira and RR Nagar.

But the second reason, many in BJP believe, is to highlight ‘corruption’ in the Congress after the principal Opposition went after a key member of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s family in an alleged corruption scandal.

The Congress, in a press conference on September 23, had demanded Yediyurappa’s resignation and an independent probe into the allegations raised by Power TV’s sting operation and also went after the CM fiercely in the Assembly.

Power TV, a private Kannada television channel, ran a series of programmes last month using the audio of a sting operation allegedly done by an official in the channel on a member of the Chief Minister's family.

This was another trigger for the Union Government to pursue cases against DKS that had been put on the back burner temporarily, say insiders in the BJP.

The decision by the Congress party to ferociously go after the CM’s family was made by a senior leader from Delhi, much against the advice of senior state leaders including DK Shivakumar, say those who were privy to the meeting.

The CBI, on Monday, started a search and seizure operation at DK Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh’s residences in Bengaluru and Kanakapura along with 15 other properties belonging to the brothers.

On August 2, 2017, the Income Tax department had raided Shivakumar’s residences and offices in Bengaluru, Kanakapura, Chennai, Mysuru and New Delhi. The raids spanned across 80 locations and concluded after three days.

On 3 September 2019 DK Shivakumar was arrested after he was questioned for nine days in Delhi.  He was charged for  money laundering and income tax evasion. On October 23, the ED court granted him bail.

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