DK Shivakumar, the Congress’s troubleshooter in Karnataka, has been freed from Delhi’s Tihar Jail on a Rs. 25 lakh bail bond. Mr Shivakumar, who faces allegations of money laundering running into crores of rupees, cannot leave the country, the Delhi High Court said today.
He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in September and sent to Tihar Jail, where another Congress leader P Chidambaram is lodged in a separate alleged corruption case.
The investigators alleged that Mr Shivakumar, 57, had not been paying taxes and made transactions worth crores of rupees.
Mr Shivakumar’s 23-year-old daughter, Aisshwarya, was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate days after he was arrested last month. The investigators said they wanted to ask her how her net worth grew from around Rs. 1 crore in 2013 to over Rs. 100 crore in 2018, and whether the financial transactions between her and her father involved unaccounted money.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her party colleague Ambika Soni went to Tihar Jail this morning to meet with Mr Shivakumar. His brother DK Suresh was also present during the meeting of the Congress leaders.
Mr Suresh told reporters that Mrs Gandhi assured Mr Shivakumar the party is with him and will stand in his support. Mrs Gandhi told him this is a case of “political vendetta” and other Congress leaders are also being targeted by the BJP government at the centre, Mr Suresh said.
“We have to fight them and come out of this,” Mr Suresh said, quoting the Congress president, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Mr Shivakumar made national headlines in 2017 when he agreed to accommodate 44 Congress legislators from Gujarat at a resort to prevent them from being poached by the BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election.
Soon after, income tax officials came knocking on Mr Shivakumar’s door. Several properties linked to the Congress leader were also raided in August 2017.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who met Mr Shivakumar in Tihar on Monday, has said Mr Shivakumar was a target of political revenge.