Quick five with freedom fighter, H.S. Doreswamy who fought against the induction of D K Shivakumar into the cabinet in 2013 when the Congress government came to power in the state. Bhaskar Hegde reports.
Q: What is your reaction to the I-T raid on Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar?
A: (laughs) Good. Long overdue
Q: You were the one who opposed Shivakumar’s induction into the cabinet in 2013 and Mr Siddaramaiah took your advice. He later changed his mind.
A: To be fair to Siddaramaiah, it (induction of Shivakumar) was not his decision. What happened was that a by-poll was held in 2014 for Bengaluru Rural constituency and Shivakumar reportedly had a discussion with AICC president, Sonia Gandhi during which he was promised a cabinet berth if he ensured the victory of the Congress candidate. That (cabine berth) was the high command’s gift to Mr Shivakumar not Siddaramaiah’s.
Q: Do you think the I-T raid is justified? The Congress claims it is part of a political witch-hunt.
A: He has abundant assets and income. I do not know how he got that. This gentleman (D.K. Shivakumar) is not Harischandra. I know a lot about his high handedness and atrocities on the voiceless in that district (Bengaluru Rural).
Q: But this could be a political witch-hunt too?
A: There is no confusion. It is very clear. He (Prime Minister) is out to finish the Congress party and is making every possible attempt to do that. He will go to any extent to execute a political witch-hunt or harass Congress leaders. This includes exposing Congress scams and misdeeds. This will continue.
Q: Should this be a warning bell for other ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet who are facing various allegations?
A: (laughs) I heard it (the cabinet) is full of such characters. If you caught them all, then it could be a warning bell. Otherwise, they will do what they want to do. One raid will not change them I think.