BJP said they would harass me, let them enjoy: Shivakumar on ED summons
Responding to Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons issued to him to be present for questioning in Delhi on Friday, Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar said the move was ‘politically motivated and that he ‘was ready to face any conspiracy’.
The ED move comes after the Karnataka High Court had on Thursday dismissed Shivakumar’s petition challenging the summons issued to him in a money-laundering case.
“I’ve told them (ED) I’ll be present for the questioning, but I’ll look at all my legal options. I have to fight this legally and politically. This is a politically motivated conspiracy to get at me. I’ve not done any wrong and I’m ready face any conspiracy,” said Shivakumar, a prominent state leader and Congress troubleshooter. He was in the forefront of efforts to save the 13-month old HD Kumaraswamy coalition government earlier this year when several of his party MLAs quit throwing the state into turmoil. The JD(S)-Congress government fell after losing the trust vote.
Watch: Summoned by ED, Congress’ DK Shivakumar says BJP harassing him
Alleging that the charges against him were trumped up, Shivakumar said: “They are trying to defame me, my family, my party through any means. I’m willing to answer any agency that wants to take this up… I’ve already declared income of Rs 130 crore by March and I’ve paid tax on this,” Shivakumar said at a press conference in Bengaluru.
“There are no illegal activities that I’ve done. BJP leaders have said it on record, they’re going to harass me. Let them enjoy giving me trouble. But I’ll participate & cooperate. I am busy till this afternoon, then I will go to Delhi,” the Congress leader told mediapersons.
In a dig at chief minister Yediyurappa, the Congress leader said, “I would like to congratulate Yediyurappa. On the floor of the house he said he wouldn’t indulge in vindictive politics. He has sown the seeds of vindictiveness.”
Saying that his “entire blood has been sucked by the various investigating agencies”, he said, “From the past two years, the entire property of my 84-year-old mother has been attached by various investigation authorities as Benami property and I am the Benami there. Our entire blood has already been sucked.”
The ED had in September last year registered a money-laundering case against Shivakumar and few others on the basis of an alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions case.
The agency had booked Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case has been filed based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against him early last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
“I’m a Congress worker and leader and I’ve tried to work towards this. I was tasked with protecting Gujarat MLAs [in 2017]. Previously I have protected Maharashtra MLAs and even in the state. Over the past 40 years I’ve been fighting in my own style,” he added