DK Shivakumar is a Vokkaliga leader in the Congress party. The Vokkaligas are a community with their roots in the Mysore region of present day Karnataka. He is from an agricultural family in Kanakpura and is regarded as one CM-aspirant.
Shivakumar is one of the richest candidates fielded by the Congress in the Karnataka assembly elections this year. He has been minister several times in the state including when SM Krishna and S Bangarappa were chief ministers.
His role in the Congress is mostly regarded as the party moneybags but he is the one who also supposedly initiated contact with the JDS for a tie-up after the just-concluded elections. Deve Gowda is also a Vokkaliga so it can be said that the two have old social ties.
The day Karnataka election results were announced a rumour did the rounds that Shivakumar will defect into the BJP's corner. This was immediately scuttled by the Congress party. The reason for the rumour spreading was the realisation in both the BJP and Congress camps that the verdict did not go in any one party's favour.
A lot of Congress party people expected a hung verdict in Karnataka but it is Shivakumar who is said to have been asked to talk to the Gowda about a post-poll alliance. This implies that his position in the party remains critical in the state.
He was raided several times by different government agencies, his riches being the target of much attention. Other than the Income Tax department, various controversies have also pursued DK Shivakumar for illegal mining, land grab and other cases.
The Income Tax department raided 60 places connected with Shivakumar last August. There may well have been good reason to raid him but the fact that he helps raise funds for Congress is said to have made Shivakumar the center of attention. Hence the I-T raids were not seen by the public as an 'accident'.
Early in his career, DK Shivakumar was more of a rough-and-ready sort. He has matured into a consummate politician who is said to have swung the Rajya Sabha seat in favour of Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Gujarat last year.