Bengaluru: With the rumours flying thick about the possible arrest of Water Resources minister, D. K. Shivakumar, his younger brother and Benglauru Rural MP, D. K. Suresh alleged that both the state and the central BJP leadership were trying their best to “destabilise” coalition government with the JD(S) in the state on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters at his residence here, Mr Suresh to buttress his allegations, released a letter allegedly written by the state BJP president, B.S. Yeddyurappa to the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes Sushil Chandra on January 10 last year, demanding a probe into alleged irregularities and corruption by him, his minister brother in the state D.K. Shivakumar and their close associates.
Though, Mr Yeddyurappa has rubbished the charges, saying the letter was fake.
Alleging that the BJP was indulging in politics of vendetta, Mr Suresh accused that the central agencies had morphed into a BJP morcha and were targeting him, his brother D. K. Shivakumar and their relatives and friends.
“If I have to explain the functioning of the central agencies, they are working like CBI morcha, ED morcha and I-T morcha. These officers are working under tremendous pressure from the central and state leaders of the BJP,” Mr Suresh lashed out. He further added that the Income Tax officers had filed four cases against Shivakumar. “When the officers realised that these might not yield the desired results, another attempt was made from back door to mount pressure on Mr Shivakumar and destabilise this coalition government. National and state leaders hatched a conspiracy under Mission-25 (seats) for the Lok Sabha election,” he asserted and added that the BJP was using central agencies to fix the opposition members.
Mr Suresh claimed that he and his brother were being targeted ever since the saffron party lost the Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat in August last year, when senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel won in a close contest. In August 2017, the Income Tax Department had raided several properties owned by D. K. Shivakumar including several of his residences. The Income Tax officials had alleged that they had found Rs 8 crore unaccounted cash at his residence in New Delhi. The Income Tax Department had also filed charges at the Economic Offences court in Bengaluru.
In August this year, Mr Shivakumar and four of his associates had petitioned the Karnataka High Court to stay the proceedings of the Income Tax Department’s investigation. On August 18, the High Court had granted a stay, which had come as a relief to D.K. Shivakumar. “Since the stay order was granted, the BJP is now bringing in the Enforcement Directorate because the I-T Department cannot investigate any further," Mr Suresh alleged.
In the letter purportedly written by Mr Yeddyurappa, which was released by Mr Suresh, the BJP leader cited alleged irregularities and corruption by Mr Shivakumar, Mr Suresh and their close associates and demanded swift action against the duo if the complaint was found true.
The letter ends with a note, "We collectively build better Karnataka and make it good, safe place to reside for citizens." Mr Suresh's accusation comes close on the heels of Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy's allegation that Mr Yeddyurappa's son B. Y. Vijayendra met the principal chief commissioner of Income Tax (Karnataka Goa region) B. R. Balakrishnan. The income tax department has rejected the charges, saying Balakrishnan did not meet any politician or their family members.
It can be recalled that Mr Shivakumar and Suresh were instrumental in safely lodging the Gujarat MLAs during the Rajya Sabha election amid fear of the BJP poaching on them. The duo were also responsible for taking all Congress MLAs to Hyderabad ahead of the floor test in the Karnataka Assembly by the Yeddyurappa government on May 19, this year. Unable to muster numbers, Mr Yeddyurappa had resigned.