Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar on Friday said he would face the conspiracy of unleashing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the income tax (I-T) department against him 'legally, politically and socially'.
Reacting to the ED's directions to Shivakumar asking to appear before the agency in Delhi on Friday afternoon, the former minister said he would honour the summons.
"I am not scared and will face anything politically, socially and legally. I am not one to flee," he said.
The ED had sought the leader's personal appearance after the Karnataka High Court dismissed Shivakumar's petition challenging the summons in a case related to money laundering, among other charges.
In August 2017, the tax department raided several premises owned by the Congress leader, his family and associates.
"There is a conspiracy to trouble me in all ways possible,"he said in Bengaluru, shortly before was scheduled to depart for Delhi.
The action against Shivakumar comes days after former union finance minister P. Chidambaram was arrested for his alleged role in the INX Media money laundering case.
The Opposition said the actions against Chidambaram were politically motivated and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misusing central agencies to target political opponents. The senior leadership of the Congress has backed Chidambaram, but it remains to be seen if they would extend the same courtesy to Shivakumar.
The Congress leader's house was raided when he was shielding around 40 legislators from Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in August 2017.
Shivakumar has attracted attention for his ability and initiative to lodge Congress legislators from other states in plush resorts, to shield them from any poaching attempts by rivals.
"I am not bothered by who supports me or not. I am a soldier of the party and have done my duty," Shivakumar said.
All his properties, including his ancestral home in Kanakpura, had been attached by the ED and other agencies as 'benami', he added. Shivakumar, who started his political career as a student leader in the late seventies and early eighties, has seen a steady and rapid rise of his influence and wealth over the years.
Shivakumar also said that chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa had sown seeds of vindictiveness against him. Yediurappa had cancelled several decisions taken by his predecessor H.D. Kumaraswamy led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) government. Shivakumar said Yediyurappa had cancelled the sanction for a medical college in the Kanakpura constituency and shifted its location to Chikkaballapura.
Shivakumar said he would sit on protest if the medical college was not approved, and would fight for all 100 Congress and JD(S) members.