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'We have to fight them': Sonia Gandhi tells DK Shivakumar in Tihar Jail

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New Delhi, Oct 23: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday met party leader D K Shivakumar at the Tihar Jail in the national capital, sending out a clear message that the party is fully backing its Vokkaliga strongman from Karnataka.

DK Shivakumar

After the meet, DK Suresh said the Congress president assured Shivakumar that the party is with him and will stand in his support.

Gandhi told Shivakumar that this is a case of "political vendetta" and other Congress leaders are also being targeted like this by the BJP government at the Centre, he said. "

We have to fight them and come out of this," Suresh said, quoting the Congress president.

This is Gandhi's second visit to Tihar Jail. Last month, she met former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in jail. The senior Congress leader was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in the INX media case.

Earlier, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Anand Sharma had met D K Shivakumar.

Kumaraswamy meets D K Shivakumar in Tihar Jail

Shivakumar (57) was instrumental in the smooth running of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy that lost power to the BJP in July this year.

Shivakumar, a seven-time MLA in Karnataka, was arrested by the ED on September 3 for the alleged offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Shivakumar's brother D K Suresh and daughter Aishwarya have also been questioned by the ED. The agency has also summoned Congress leader's mother and wife, apart from questioning Belagavi Rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar in the money-laundering case.

The 57-year old Congress leader is presently lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody.

He has approached the high court challenging a trial court's order denying him bail in the case.

The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.

The case was based on a charge sheet (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 of rupees.

The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through ''hawala'' channels with the help of three other accused.

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