Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Thursday said the Enforcement Directorate has turned down his plea for exemption from appearance before the agency in Delhi on October 7 in the National Herald money laundering case. He said he will decide whether to appear before the agency after talking to his party leaders. In a fresh message to Shivakumar, the ED asked him to make himself available before the agency on Friday.
“You are once again directed to present yourself before me at my office for recording of your statement on October 7, 2022 as per summons dated September 23, 2022,” said an email sent by ED Assistant Director Kuldeep Singh. Shivakumar, who is presently participating in the Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ which is passing through Karnataka, had requested the probe agency to allow him exemption from appearance till October 21.
“I had requested for time to appear before the ED which has been denied. I will take a call on whether to appear before the agency after talking to my leaders,” Shivakumar said. His MP brother D K Suresh, 56, has also been summoned by the agency for questioning in its ongoing money laundering probe into the operations of the Congress party-owned National Herald newspaper.
It is understood that the federal agency wants to record the statement of the politician brothers with regard to some payments made by them in the past to Young Indian, the company that owns the news organisation. Shivakumar was last questioned by the ED on September 19 in Delhi in another money laundering case linked to alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
The latest summons comes at a time when Shivakumar is involved in conducting the Karnataka leg of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. Led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the yatra entered Karnataka on September 30 and will cover the state over 21 days.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her MP son Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal have been questioned by the ED over the last few months in the National Herald money laundering case. The agency has also issued summons to a number of Congress leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for questioning in the case after it was found that they allegedly made payments to Young Indian.