Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case. Shivakumar, who was summoned by the financial probe agency last week in connection with a new case, appeared before it around 12 noon here at its headquarters.
He was questioned under the provisions of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 for two hours and was allowed to go out for lunch for an hour.
Speaking to The New Indian, Shivakumar said, “What to do? I can’t run away, no.” He was responding to a question that he appeared before the agency despite running a fever. When asked about the new ECIR of FIR against him, the Karnataka Congress leader said, “They did not give me a copy.”
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.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress in charge and Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala took a swipe at the BJP government at the Centre over Shivakumar’s questioning by ED. In a tweet, he said, “The ED harassment & persecution of DK Shivakumar is in stark contrast to the clean chit given by Modi Govt to its own “dented & tainted” 40 per cent Commission government in Karnataka. Truth will prevail and this revengeful persecution by BJP’s ED won’t prevent a Congress victory in 2023.”
The ED 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 in the midst of the Congress’ 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and when the Karnataka assembly was in session.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is being spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi, will enter Karnataka on September 30.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra officially started on September 8 from Kanyakumari. During the 150-day Yatra, Gandhi and several other party leaders will march to Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar.
Earlier, Congress said that the party deliberately kept election-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh out of its padayatra as it would have impacted their preparations for the polls.