Bengaluru: Playing the victim card to the hilt, Congress MP D.K. Suresh on Wednesday charged that central agencies have been indirectly building pressure on his brother, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar, to cross over and join the BJP.

According to Mr Suresh, this was part of an ongoing effort by the BJP government and BJP national president, Amit Shah to mount pressure on Mr Shivakumar to jump ship.Speaking to reporters here, flanked by fellow party MPs R. Dhruvanarayan, K.C. Ramamurthy, G.C. Chandrashekhar and B.N. Chandrappa., Mr Suresh said, “They (officials) have again mounted pressure on him to defect to save himself and his family members or stay and face the consequences.” He added that it would be inappropriate to reveal which central agency made the offer, or when the latest offer was made.

It may be recalled that Mr Shivakumar’s house and other properties allegedly linked to him, were raided by Income Tax sleuths last year. Mr Suresh said the I-T wing had referred a case of criminal conspiracy to the Enforcement Directorate. “We’ve been saying that the union government is misusing agencies to target leaders from opposition parties. I want to ask officials not to budge to pressure and work within the framework of the law.”

Mr Suresh, who represents the Bengaluru Rural in the Lok Sabha, also asserted that neither his brother (Mr Shivakumar) nor his family members would succumb to pressure. “We are firmly with the Congress party. This is our commitment to the party,” he declared.

Mr Ramamurthy, a Rajya Sabha member who was formerly an IPS officer, said all nine Congress MPs from Karnataka had sought an appointment with the Enforcement Directorate head to discuss how the central agencies were being misused. “On behalf of all the MPs, I wrote to the ED seeking an audience on September 13. So far, there’s been no response whatsoever,” Mr Ramamurthy contended.

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