Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi visited Tihar Jail to meet party’s trouble-shooter and senior leader DK Shivakumar on Wednesday morning. The visit came ahead of the key hearing at the Delhi High Court that would decide on the bail petition of DK Shivakumar. Justice Suresh Kait had reserved the order on October 17 on the leader's bail plea in which he claimed that the case was a result of political rivalry and there was not enough evidence against him. “Sonia Gandhi has backed DK Shivakumar. She has promised him all support,” DK Suresh, DK Shivakumar's brother was quoted as saying.
This is not the first time that Gandhi has visited Tihar to meet a jailed Congress leader. Earlier, she met P Chidambaram, who has been jailed in the INX media case. An HT report said that Gandhi’s visits are not just for optics but also a message for the party workers. The message is loud and clear – the part top command stands by its members, no matter what.
The ED had filed a PMLA case against Shivakumar and others based on a chargesheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.
Sonia Gandhi’s son and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi had also backed Shivakumar. After his arrest, Rahul Gandhi had lashed at the Narendra Modi government. Gandhi hit out at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government over its vendetta politics. Gandhi said the government is using agencies like the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a pliant media to selectively target individuals.
"The arrest of DK Shivakumar is another example of the vendetta politics unleashed by the Govt, using agencies like the ED/CBI and a pliant media to selectively target individuals," the Congress leader had tweeted.