Politics behind arrest, says former Karna Minister, Congress on CBI action against him

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Bengaluru, Nov 5 (PTI) Former Karnataka minister Vinay Kulkarni and the Congress on Thursday termed as 'politically motivated' his arrest by the CBI in a 2016 murder case while his supporters staged protests and raised slogans against BJP.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said there was no interference by the government behind the action against Kulkarni, who was arrested by the central agency after being questioned for almost an entire day in connection with the murder of BJP worker Yogesh Gowda in Dharwad district in 2016.

'...it is hundred per cent politics, what is there to say?...' Kulkarni, a former Congress MLA from Dharwad, told reporters as he was taken by CBI for medical examination after arrest.

Several supporters of the former minister staged protests including in front of the Dharwad suburban police station, where he was first taken, claiming injustice and shouted slogans against the BJP as the state unit of Congress also rallied behind him.

The BJP worker, a zila panchayat member, was killed in his gym on June 15, 2016 by unidentified men.

Kulkarni was mines and geology minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government when the incident took place and the CBI has found him to be an alleged participant in the conspiracy which led to the BJP worker's murder.

The Karnataka Congress has come out in support of Kulkarni and has termed the CBI action as politically motivated.

Congress Legislature Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Siddaramaiah said the case itself was politically motivated.

'Vinay Kulkarni has spoken to me, he has said that he has not committed any mistake, let the investigation happen, lets see....investigation is on I don't want to comment anything more, but according to me it is politically motivated, as the case was reopened and given to CBI for investigation....,' he added.

State Congress President D K Shivakumar said he will fully stand by Vinay Kulkarni and the party leaders and they were in no way involved in the case. 'It is politically motivated,' he charged.

The state police had investigated the case and had even filed a report to the court, he said, alleging BJP leaders from the region were taking political revenge against Kulkarni as he was growing strong politically there.

'CBI functions in accordance with law.... I ask the CBI to investigate the case as per law, and not to yield to any political pressure....,' he added.

Yediyurappa said, the CBI might have made the arrest after investigation and on getting certain evidence, adding the truth will come out.

'....it is the expectation of every one that his (Gowda) family should get justice. I hope that at least now they get justice,' he said.

State BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel said CBI was investigating the case in accordance with law and the law will take its course. PTI KSU VS VS