20-ft apple garland, folk dances: DK Shivakumar receives grand welcome in Bengaluru

"DK Saheb is arriving. The whole city will celebrate," blared a song, tailor-made for the arrival of Kanakpura MLA DK Shivakumar in Bengaluru. 

Thousands of Congress party workers and fans of the former Water Resource Minister gathered outside the Devanahalli Toll Plaza in Bengaluru at around 12 pm on Saturday to celebrate Shivakumar's release from Tihar jail. Shivakumar, who was in Delhi after his release, landed in Bengaluru at around 2.30 pm on Saturday.

DK Shivakumar's fans had brought in folk dancers and musicians to celebrate his arrival. Musicians thumped at their drums, while kamsale artistes danced to folk tunes. Lyrics of popular sandalwood songs were tweaked to glorify DK Shivakumar. 

Hundreds of party workers danced and shouted slogans praising DK Shivakumar.  "DK Shi, DK Shi, our mass leader DK Shi," shouted his fans, who had gathered in huge numbers.

 A 20-ft apple garland weighing 100 kilos was brought in a huge truck at around 12 pm along with a crane to hold it up on Shivakumar's arrival at the toll plaza. 

A truck was decked up with posters of Shivakumar and marigold garlands adorned the windshield for Shivakumar to travel in.

These grand gestures for DK Shivakumar are not new. Soon after his arrest in September, thousands of Congress workers and his fans had carried out a massive rally across all districts in the state accusing the BJP-ruled central government of indulging in vendetta politics.

DK Shivakumar has for long been glorified in Karnataka for his role of being the party's troubleshooter. Shivakumar courted controversy multiple times when he harboured Gujarat MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. The Income Tax Department also conducted raids on his properties the day he flocked together the Gujarat MLAs in August 2017. 

After a 50-day stint in New Delhi's Tihar jail for allegedly laundering money, DK Shivakumar obtained conditional bail from the Delhi High Court on October 23. The Enforcement Directorate had on September 3 arrested DK Shivakumar on allegations of money laundering. Shivakumar was denied bail by the CBI Special court and had spent 50 days in judicial custody before being released on bail.

Shivakumar was also in the centre of media coverage when 10 Congress and JDS MLAs were cooped up in Mumbai ahead of the motion of confidence after resigning. Shivakumar was hailed as a Congress loyalist after he sat down in the pouring rain outside Renaissance Hotel, demanding that he meet the legislators.