Congress Says DK Shivakumar’s Arrest Is To Divert Attention From ‘Economic Emergency’
In this file photo dated July 15, 2019, Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar arrives to take part in the State Assembly session at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

Congress Says DK Shivakumar’s Arrest Is To Divert Attention From ‘Economic Emergency’

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The Congress hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government over DK Shivakumar's arrest on Tuesday, alleging that punitive actions in a "revengeful manner" were being taken against its leaders to divert people's attention from the "economic emergency" prevailing in the country.

Terming the action as "political vendetta", the party said it will fight against the arrest of Shivakumar, a prominent Karnataka Congress leader, legally as well as "in the people's court".

Immediately after his arrest, a tweet from Shivakumar's Twitter handle said:

Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money-laundering case on Tuesday.

The sitting MLA from Kanakapura and a former cabinet minister, Shivakumar appeared before the agency for the fourth time for questioning on Tuesday. He was placed under arrest under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, officials said.

Reacting to the development, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, "India's economy is in doldrums. Rupee has become the worst performing currency. Every sector is in complete shambles, be it textiles, automobiles, steel, refinery, coal or in all other drivers of growth.”

"The GDP growth rate is now below five percent. Actually, it is about three percent. There is an economic emergency prevailing in the country. To put a lid over all this and to draw the attention of the country away from their own misdeeds, the BJP government is taking false actions against Congress leaders."

The "illegal" arrest of Shivakumar was one such instance, he said. "Shivakumar is innocent, there is not an iota of evidence against him and it is only to draw the attention away from the complete economic mismanagement and anarchy that such punitive actions are being taken against Congress leaders in a revengeful manner," Surjewala added.

The opposition party would fight against Shivakumar's arrest legally as also in the people's court, he said.

Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal described Shivakumar's arrest as a "clear case of political vendetta".

Former Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy also voiced support for Shivakumar, saying after days of interrogation, without even allowing a day's break for festivals, the ED cited non-cooperation to arrest the Congress leader.

"The ruling government is using investigating agencies to oppress those opposition leaders, who they think are a threat to their interests," he said.

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