Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar was on Monday questioned for over 5.5 hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar was on Monday questioned for over 5.5 hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was asked to share the details of his association and payment details with the Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIPL), in which Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are stakeholders.
Shivakumar, a Congress heavyweight in Karnataka and also known as the troubleshooter of the grand old party, appeared before the agency around noon. He was allowed to go for lunch in the afternoon for an hour.
After his questioning, Shivakumar said, “An ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) was filed based on which I was arrested and a charge sheet was filed. Now they have done a new ECIR based on the CBI DA case.” He further asserted, “I do not know whether ED can look out in the DA case of CBI.”
“Surprisingly, they have asked me about the payments to Young India and some of my brother’s payments to Young India. I don’t remember the dates or the payments. But I will have to submit all the details. Earlier, I had submitted all my properties and assets details with the ED,” the former Karnataka Minister said.
He further said that they (ED) want information about Young Indian, his attachment with Young Indian and payment with Young Indian other than his assets and liabilities.
When pressed further about the alleged money laundering allegations, the Congress leader said, “What charges or illegal activities do I have done?”
“Only one case, ED has filed a charge sheet. I believe in the law system and I know I will get justice. One thing I want to make clear to my BJP friends is that they should fight politically,” he said, hitting out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the centre.
When asked if he had been summoned again, Shivakumar said, “They have not asked me to come again. I have asked for time and said about my political activities. I have sought time to authorise my representative.”
To a question about the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka, he said, “I have started our preparations for 10-15 days. I have toured the entire Yatra route. And it is almost a one-month job.”
To another question about when he was going to Karnataka, he said, “Tomorrow I will go to Karnataka. For me, it is a do-or-die battle. I have to do, it. It is my responsibility, it is my accountability.”
Shivakumar, who was summoned by the financial probe agency last week and his statement was recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
After his questioning, he took to Twitter, saying, “I have faith in the judicial system of India. I will be found innocent of all charges one day. The political vendetta and harassment against me is the price I am paying for speaking up for the people of Karnataka, for speaking about issues such as unemployment and price rises. ”
Shivakumar, who has been the troubleshooter of the Congress in Karnataka, has been at loggerheads with the ED since 2018 when the agency registered a case of money laundering against him. The agency had also filed a charge sheet against him earlier this year.
Shivakumar was arrested by the ED in the case on September 3, 2019, and was granted bail by the Delhi High Court on October 23, 2019.
In September 2018, the ED registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah, an employee at the Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and other people allegedly linked to him.
The ED had earlier questioned Shivakumar, his daughter, and several others in connection with the case. The ED has also carried out searches on the premises linked to Shivakumar in Karnataka and Delhi after registering the case.
Shivakumar, a former Minister in the Karnataka government, had earlier questioned the timing of the ED summons to him amid the Congress’ 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and when the Karnataka assembly was in session.