Who is DK Shivakumar? Karnataka power broker is also one of India's richest ministers

On Wednesday morning, the Income Tax department raided the residence of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar. Initial reports suggested that Bengaluru's Eagleton Golf Resort — where 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs are currently holed up — was also raided. However, finance minister Arun Jaitley, later in Rajya Sabha, denied such claims and said that only one Karnataka minister is at the heart of the raid and the Gujarat Congress MLAs are not the target.

The tax department on Wednesday raided 39 locations linked with Shivakumar on Wednesday. The I-T department said its officials visited the Eagleton resort near Bengaluru only in connection with the Karnataka minister, who was present at the resort. Shivakumar, incidentally, is the person tasked to look after MLAs from Gujarat, by the party's central leadership. He was in Singapore when the MLAs were brought to Bengaluru and rushed back to the state to take charge of the situation. The minister had also confirmed that he will be in charge of looking after the MLAs.

"I have been asked to help out and I am doing all that is necessary for the sake of the party. We have not made any plans for these MLAs to tour. But we will ensure that they will be safe and our party candidate wins the Rajya Sabha seat,” The Economic Times quoted Shivakumar as saying.

Speaking on why the Bengaluru resort was picked although the MLA belonged to Gujarat, Shivakumar had said, "It is my land ...means my district and my brother is MP from here, we have two strong MLCs from here....they (Gujarat MLAs) are my old friends from my Youth Congress days, they have confidence in me, they felt it is comfortable."

Shivakumar, and his brother DK Suresh, Member of Parliament from Bengaluru Rural, were tasked the entire responsibility of the resort stay.

 Who is DK Shivakumar? Karnataka power broker is also one of Indias richest ministers

File image of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar. Image courtesy: Facebook

During the Karnataka bypolls this year, energy minister and Vokkaliga leader Shivakumar was a frontrunner even though the chief minister personally wanted to favour a Lingayat, SR Patil, to blunt the BJP.

DK Shivakumar, a minister in the present state cabinet, is also the chairman of Congress' campaign committee for the upcoming 2018 Assembly election in Karnataka.

Heart of Gold?

Shivakumar has been hailed to have a heart of gold. Recently, a farmer, Sardar Barela, was photographed where his two minor daughters were ploughing his farm in Madhya Pradesh's Bastanpur Pangari village. The issue reportedly touched a chord with Shivakumar, who promptly wrote a cheque of Rs 50,000 for the farmer.

Shivakumar posted the picture of the cheque on his Twitter account and wrote that he was helping the farmer to buy oxen so that he could send his minor daughters to school. He also criticised the Madhya Pradesh government of the failure of their scheme under 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'. While his move was widely appreciated, it also raised question as to why the minister did not do the same for farmers of his own state.

One of the wealthiest

He is among the wealthiest ministers in the country. According to a 2016 The Times of India report, Shivakumar is the second richest minister in the country with assets worth Rs 251 crore. Shivakumar also topped this list with liabilities of Rs 105 crore. In 2013 Assembly polls, he was among of the richest candidates contesting the polls with an increase of Rs 176 Crore from 2008 elections.

Currently, Shivakumar is a Cabinet minister in the Siddaramaiah government for energy department portfolio.

Political career

It was in 1985 that the leader first contested against former prime minister HD Deve Gowda from the then Sathanur Assembly segment as a Congress candidate. Though Gowda won, he "deserted" Sathanur as he got elected from Holenarsipur Assembly as well. In the by-election, Shivakumar got elected from the seat, reports have said. In the 1989 Lok Sabha election, Shivakumar again contested against Gowda from Kanakapura constituency and lost. In 1994 Assembly polls, he lost to Gowda's son HD Kumaraswamy in Sathanur Assembly constituency.

Shivakumar slowly gained control rural region of Bengaluru. In this 2013 Assembly elections, Shivakumar won the Kanakapura constituency during the elections in 2013 by pulling 1,00,007 votes against PGR Sindhia of JD(S) who received 68,583 votes, DNA reported.

Corruption charges

Shivakumar and his family been linked to several cases of illegal mining and transporting granite illegally, and improper land distribution.

In 2015, the High Court of Karnataka issued notices to Shivakumar and his family members after a PIL was filed alleging their role in illegal mining activities in Kanakapura and Ramanagaram towns. The Hindu reported that the petitioner pointed out that despite registration of offences under the Forest Act, no action was taken against them.

The petitioner also claimed Shivakumar had written a letter to the then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa requesting him to withdraw forest offence cases against him.

In the same year, land activists accused Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh of grabbing 66 acres of land meant to be for the dalits and the poor, in the alleged Shanthinagar housing society scam. However, Deccan Herald reported that the then cooperation minister HS Mahadev Prasad later gave Shivakumar a clean chit, since he found no proof to establish the minister's involvement in the scam.

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Updated Date: Aug 02, 2017 13:38:04 IST