BENGALURU: KPCC president calls it a pressure tactic before the upcoming bypolls, says he won’t be deterred,Congress leaders question timing of CBI raids, call them “political witch hunt” by the saffron party,Congress leaders question timing of CBI raids, call them “political witch hunt” by the saffron party
Congress State unit Chief D K Shivakumar on Monday deemed the CBI case and searches conducted at his residence as ‘ continuation of BJP’s vendetta politics’ against him.Recounting a timeline of such cases and raids against him since 2017 when he hosted MLAs from Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections,, Shivakumar said, “In 2017, the Income Tax department conducted such raids at 87 places while I was hosting Congress MLAs from Gujarat; in 2018, the Economic Offences Court directed for a case to be booked against me; in 2019, the Enforcement Directorate booked me and put me in Tihar jail, and now in 2020, CBI is conducting raids against me. This is purely politically motivated. I am ready to cooperate and will appear for questioning whenever I am asked to,” he said.
Shivakumar emerged from his residence in Sadashivanagar on Monday evening after hours of being cooped up inside while CBI officials searched the premises. Addressing party workers who had gathered outside his residence, Shivakumar said, “Despite the Advocate General suggesting that this case should be proved by ACB and not the CBI, the Chief Minister under pressure has given the latter permission to investigate me. No former minister has ever been investigated by the CBI in Karnataka but B S Yediyurappa has given permission to it. This will continue till elections. You go back, talk to your family members at every block level and show your solidarity in the upcoming polls.”
Speaking to the media later, Shivakumar deemed the raids a pressure/scare tactic and he will not be deterred by them. “Since we raised many issues on corruption by the state government and had planned a huge agitation over the Uttar Pradesh case, the State government wants me out. Byelections have been announced and the State government doesn’t want me to talk, hence the pressure,” he said, adding it won’t shut him up.
While the CBI in its statement said that about Rs 57 lakh was recovered during the searches at 14 places including Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi, Shivakumar said he was not aware of recoveries made at properties other than his.
“I have the panchanama right here. Only Rs 1.77 lakh was seized from my residence in Bengaluru. In the adjoining office, Rs 3-4 lakh that was kept as office expenditure perhaps has been seized along with another Rs 1-3 lakh from my New Delhi residence. There is no other cash in my house. I do not know about other properties that are not mine that they have raided. I don’t know what was taken from my mother’s residence in Kanakapura. Let them hang me if they can prove the allegations,” Shivakumar said.