DK Shivakumar gets emotional: Recalls Sonia Gandhi’s jail visit

Will deliver Karnataka, Congress state president recalls his promise party top brass

| Updated: 13 May, 2023 3:17 pm IST

NEW DELHI: It was an emotional moment for DK Shivakumar. It was an emotional moment for Congress too, as it fought to stay alive in Indian politics.

After years of facing disappointment, occasional happiness in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh notwithstanding, and of reverses, the Grand Old Party had a lot to cheer as it inched towards a return to power in Karnataka.

The win came as a stunning blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut, which was confident of retaining the key southern state. The win should also serve as a big confidence booster for the embattled Congress party ahead of the crucial 2024 general elections.

Shivakumar, who is the Congress state president, naturally found it hard to control his emotions as he broke down while recalling his time at Tihar Jail. One of the richest candidates in the fray, Shivakumar, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case.

“I can’t forget Sonia Gandhi coming to meet me in jail,” Shivakumar said as tears flew through his cheeks. “I assured Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge that I will deliver Karnataka,” he said.

Known as the troubleshooter for the party, Shivakumar played a key role in sheltering Congress MLAs from Gujarat, at his resort outside Bengaluru, ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha election in 2017.

Coincidentally, around this time, the income tax department raided properties associated with Shivakumar. In the raid, the I-T officials claimed they had seized unaccounted cash of ₹8.82 crores from his Delhi house. Shivakumar was arrested by the ED in a money laundering case based on a complaint filed by the tax department in September 2018 alleging hawala transactions and tax evasion.

At the time of filing the report, Shivakumar was leading the Kanakapura assembly constituency by more than 98,000 votes against his closest rival, R Ashoka of the BJP.

The seat is considered to be a stronghold for Shivakumar, who won the seat for the last three state assembly elections in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

Touted as the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, Shivakumar said, “The Congress office is our temple. We will decide our next step at the Congress office.”

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