EC accepts nomination papers of DK Shivakumar

Day before Karnataka Congress chief’s brother filed his nomination as backup candidate

NEW DELHI | Updated: 22 April, 2023 1:05 am IST
Congress Karnataka president DK Shivakumar (2nd right)

In a sigh of relief for Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, the Election Commission on Friday accepted his nomination for the Kanakapura assembly constituency, thus clearing the way for a high-profile contest between him and Revenue Minister R Ashoka of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The development comes a day after Shivakumar fielded his brother and Lok Sabha MP DK Suresh as his backup candidate from the Kanakapura assembly seat.

Shivakumar, who is a seven-time MLA from Kanakapura, filed his nomination papers on Monday amid a show of strength by his supporters.

However, after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday rejected the petition filed by Shivakumar challenging the consent granted by the state government to the CBI to proceed in a disproportionate assets case, he got his brother to also file a nomination from the assembly seat.

The High Court dismissed the petition of Shivakumar, in which he challenged the September 25, 2019 order issued by the then BS Yediyurappa government. However, the stay vis-à-vis the FIR registered by the CBI on October 3, 2020, against him will continue.

The CBI had claimed that between April 1, 2013, and April 30, 2018, Shivakumar and his family members had around ₹74.8 crores of disproportionate assets.

The Karnataka Congress leader is facing multiple investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income-Tax (I-T) department in connection with alleged money laundering and tax evasion cases. He was also arrested by the ED earlier.

Shivakumar has denied any wrongdoing and accused the BJP-led central government of political vendetta.

The Kanakapura seat, which is located in the Ramanagara district, is a stronghold of the Vokkaliga community, which accounts for over 60 per cent of the electorate.

In his election affidavit, Shivakumar, while submitting his nomination papers for the May 10 Assembly polls, revealed that his wealth has increased by 68 per cent as compared to 2018. In the affidavit, Shivakumar pegged his total assets and those of his family members at a combined value of ₹1414 crore.

The polling for the 224-member assembly is scheduled for May 10 and the counting of votes will take place on May 13.

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