BENGALURU: As former minister DK Shivakumar’s convoy on Monday drove into Doddalahalli, Kanakapura -- a 90-minute drive from Bengaluru -- the media followed him all the way to his ancestral house where he walked up to the graves of his father and grandmother and performed religious rituals.
Shivakumar later said that these rituals should have been completed about 7-8 weeks ago, but he could not participate as the Enforcement Directorate had taken him in for questioning.
This only served to reinforce the halo on the ‘party martyr’. As he walked around the graves and offered floral tributes and incense, accompanied by wife Usha, mother Gowramma, brother and MP DK Suresh and others, it became evident that Shivakumar’s stock is rising within the party, much to the discomfiture of others.
In fact, it is being said that the video leak, in which Siddaramaiah speaks about Shivakumar waving a JDS flag, was a deliberate act to malign him and indicate that he is not loyal to the Congress.
Sources said, “DK Shivakumar was incarcerated in prison for close to two months, but the rate at which senior leaders are visiting him, the buzz in Congress is that he could soon be appointed KPCC president.” This caused Opposition leader Siddaramaiah to respond, claiming that there would be no change in the KPCC top post.
But quite suddenly, it looks like equations could change in the party. Observers said, “It is well-known that the Congress has screamed from the rooftops that DKS is a victim of political vendetta. The IT department raided him after he sheltered Gujarat Congress MLAs from being poached by BJP during the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections. Soon after the Gujarat MLAs were released, 13 of them were poached by BJP.
The big question doing the rounds is: What made Shivakumar ‘bigger’, the ED arrest or Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Tihar Jail?
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi visited Shivakumar in prison the day he was released, and the very next day, he met Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for close to an hour in Delhi. He also met senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Malikarjun Kharge in Delhi.
“This kind of access for a Congress leader is a dream come true,’’ said a Congress insider.
According to political analysts, senior party leaders are visiting him in droves, which is a sign of his importance in the party. “He returned to a rousing welcome in Bengaluru, with thousands of supporters lining the streets. Former CM Siddaramaiah visiting him was a surprise, Dr G Parameshwara and other major leaders also met him. On Monday, former ministers MB Patil and N Cheluvarayaswamy, former Union ministers CM Ibrahim and KH Muniyappa, besides others, visited him.’’