Bengaluru: Hundreds of Congress party workers and supporters of former minister, D. K. Shivakumar, who was released on bail from a New Delhi prison in a money laundering case, gave him a rousing welcome as he landed at the city airport Saturday afternoon.
The 57-year-old Vokkaliga strong man, who has his own support base in parts of old Mysuru region of Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Mandya and the neighbouring areas, was greeted by supporters with flowers, bursting of crackers and a mammoth 20 ft. Long apple garland upon his arrival.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr Shivakumar said that he had only become stronger following his ordeal. "They (the BJP) have made me stronger. There is no question of weakening, no question of surrendering. I will fight for justice," he declared.
Insisting that he had not done anything wrong, he added, “Let them hang me or put me in prison if I have done something wrong. I have not betrayed anyone at any point of time. Time and law will provide the answer. The ED has already appealed to the Supreme Court saying that I am not eligible for bail. They can do that legally, let them.”
Contending that he was a businessman by profession, who had became a politician due to his passion to serve the people, office in nation and the party, he said, "I have done whatever my party (Congress) asked for. Whatever work was given by the party, I have done it. I have won elections and I have lost some. I don't do any work that goes against my conscience."
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, Dinesh Gundurao, who was present, alleged that the BJP was targeting Congress leaders by using the Income Tax department to raid their housess.
“Even during elections, our candidates and supporters were raided. This happened during the assembly as well as parliamentary polls,” he said.
On Mr Shivakumar's arrest, Mr Rao contended that he had submitted all documents, but the BJP wanted to jail him no matter what. “This is a conspiracy by the BJP top brass,” he charged. Mr Rao added that the hero's welcome given to Mr Shivakumar sent a clear message to the saffron party. “The more the BJP targets the opposition, the more the people understand (its intentions ) and it gets stronger,” he said.
Interestingly, the Congress leader was received at the airport by former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumarasawamy but not senior leaders of his own party like former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah and others.
Mr Shivakumar ,who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on September 3 in a money laundering case, walked out of Tihar Jail on Thursday after spending 50 days in custody on conditional bail granted to him by the Delhi High Court....