In order to protest against the arrest of senior Congress leader and former Karnataka minister D.K. Shivakumar, around 30,000 people from Vokkaliga community came out on the streets of Bengaluru on Wednesday.

He was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on September 3 for his alleged role in a money-laundering case and tax evasion. The leader is credited with helping Congress party in times of crisis.

DK Shivakumar thanked his well-wishers and followers for supporting him in his tough time. Expressing his sentiments, the leader wrote a heartful message on Twitter.

The protestors told that the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party is systematically targeting members of the Vokkaliga community. Vokkaliga community also said that the saffron party is trying to misuse the investigative agencies for its vendetta politics. Examples of cases against the former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Shivakumar and the late Cafe Coffee Day founder V.G. Siddhartha were thrown in the air by the protestors.

Congress party and JD-S party is supporting the community in their protests. It can be seen that Congress is trying its way to gain back the lost ground among the Vokkaliga community. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah was also blamed to ignore the rising aspirations of the Vokkaliga community when he had given more priority to marginalized classes and Kurubas community.

The protest organized on Wednesday was termed as one of the largest such movement in the region after the 1990s. Bengaluru can now be seen as an open ground for caste-politics where Vokkaliga community has been trying to asset its caste-drive politics. Speaking about the protest, Nanjavadhutha Mahaswamiji (prominent seer from the community) said that the message has gone to whoever it was supposed to.

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Digital Journalist (Specializing in Indian affairs & Contemporary Political development)

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