Bengaluru: The Enforcement Directorate investigations against senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar has taken new twists with his community, the Vokkaligas, and religious heads of a few influential mutts rallying behind him and changing the money-laundering narrative to vindictive politics being played by the dominant Lingayat community which backs the BJP.
At another level, the 22-year-old daughter of DKS, DS Aishwarya, is under the ED scanner as her income ballooned from Rs 1.1 crore to a whopping Rs 76.1 crore in just five years. And mysteriously she got a loan from a financially limping Café Coffee Day. She has been summoned for questioning by the ED on Thursday and this has rattled DKS.
In the 2013 assembly elections, DKS had declared his daughter’s assets at Rs 1.1 crore. But today, Aishwarya, just a management graduate, is a trustee of the Global Academy of Technology set up by her father. The 2018 affidavit filed by DKS mentioned she had paid advance towards purchase of built-up area in Soul Space Spirit Mall in Bellandur worth Rs 76.1 crore.
The ED probe also revealed that Aishwarya had received Rs 20-crore loan from a financially bankrupt Cafe Coffee Day. ED officials will question her about this.
Aishwarya is reportedly connected with some shell companies in which DKS had parked money.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, over 40K Vokkaliagas converged on Bengaluru in solidarity with DKS even as Nanjavadhutha Swamy, the pontiff of Spatikapuri Mutt, warned there would be more aggressive protests if central agencies continue to target Vokkaliga leaders. “The main objective of Wednesday’s rally was to tell people how these agencies have been targeting senior Vokkaliga leaders in Karnataka and ask them to prepare for a bigger fight,” the seer said.
His was subtly referring to former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, a Vokkaliga, now under the CBI scanner in the phone tapping and IMA ponzi scams.
After CBI started probing the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam and telephone-tapping cases, there were reports that Kumaraswamy could be the next target after Shivakumar.
The Vokkaliaga leaders point out the it is only leaders from their community who are being picked by the ED and CBI. First came Café Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who had cited pressure from the income-tax department as a reason for his suicide in July, and then Shivakumar, and now Kumaraswamy is also reportedly in CBI line of fire.
However, there is a split in the Vokkaliga community. The Congress is trying to emerge as the ‘protector’ of the community even as members of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s family kept off Wednesday’s rally. Gowda is the undisputed leader of the community and this is what the Congress is trying to undo.
Prominent Vokkaliga seer Nirmalananda Swami of Adichunchanigiri Mutt and Chandrashekharanatha Swami of Viswa Vokkaligara Mahasamsthana Mutt – patrons of Gowda family — also stayed away from the rally.
Meanwhile, the ED issued summons to the daughter of Shivakumar — DS Aishwarya — to appear at its headquarters in Delhi on Thursday for questioning.
The Congress leader had invested several crores of rupees in her name. In his election affidavit in 2018, Shivakumar, while declaring assets worth Rs 618 crore, had also listed properties worth Rs 108 crore in her name.