Bengaluru, Sep 3 : The arrest of senior Congress legislator D.K. Shivakumar in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case on Tuesday sparked angry protests in Karnataka, especially in Bengaluru and his home town Kanakapura, a party official said.
"Hundreds of party cadres and supporters have condemned Shivakumar's arrest by the ED in the city, at Kanakapura, Ramanagara, Mandya, Mysuru and Hassan and held protest march against the ruling BJP in the state and the NDA government at the Centre," party spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS here.
Shock and anger gripped the party's rank and file across the southern state soon after news of Shivakumar's arrest spread like wild fire.
"I appeal to my party cadre, supporters and well-wishers not to be disheartened as I have done nothing illegal. I have full faith in god and in our country's judiciary. I am very confident that I will emerge victorious both legally and politically against this vendetta politics," tweeted Shivakumar in Kannada and English soon after his arrest.
In a sarcastic tone, the 57-year-old former minister and the party's troubleshooter congratulated his friends in the BJP for finally being successful in their mission of arresting him.
"The I-T (Income-Tax) and ED cases against me are politically motivated and I am a victim of BJP's politics of vengeance and vendetta," he tweeted.
State Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao said vindictively targetting opposition leaders, using agencies to harass and humiliate them is a specific agenda of the BJP.
"@DKShivakumar has been bearing the brunt since two years We are with him in this fight against an authoritarian regime," tweeted Rao.
Former Chief Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy said after days of interrogation, without allowing a day's break for the festival, ED now cites non-cooperation to arrest Shivakumar.
"The ruling government is using investigation agencies to oppress those opposition leaders who they think are a threat to their interests," he said in a tweet.