Scam-hit Karnataka BJP goes on offensive, unearths Congress-era scams – The Federal

The state BJP has decided to nullify the major scams rocking the state, including the 40 per cent commission allegation, by trying to dig out scams of the previous Congress government run by Siddaramaiah
The ruling BJP government in Karnataka is adopting a tit-for-tat approach to counter the attacks from its principal Opposition party – the Congress – which is growing in strength due to anti-incumbency factors, ahead of the state Assembly elections next year.
The state BJP has decided to nullify the major scams rocking the state, including the 40 per cent commission allegation (the Karnataka State Contractors’ Association have said they are being forced to pay a 40 per cent commission to officials in the BJP government, cutting across departments, for projects), by trying to dig out scams of the previous Congress government run by Siddaramaiah.
Modi’s visit
This modus operandi is said to have been prompted after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mangaluru to attend an official programme on September 2. Modi is said to have held a core committee meeting and advised the state BJP leaders to start gearing up to take on the Congress party in the 2023 Assembly elections.
Two days later, BJP leaders, including BJP parliamentary board member and the former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, state BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel, CM Basavaraj Bommai, Union minister Pralhad Joshi and others met in Bengaluru to decide on the poll strategy.
As the Congress is planning to raise the ‘40 per cent commission’ issue in the Assembly sessions, which will begin on September 12 for 10 days, the BJP has decided to fight back by highlighting the alleged Congress scams. It will present a united front, convinced that the ‘commission’ issue will come back to bite the party.
Also read: Modi’s Mangaluru visit shows why BSY is key for BJP ahead of polls
After the BJP core committee meeting, the party’s national general Secretary CT Ravi said that they have decided to dig out all the scams during the Congress rule and place them before the public. “We will not talk about the cinema climax, but this is just a trailer. Picture abhi baaki hai,” he said with emphasis.
CID enquiry
The very next day, the BJP-led government ordered a CID inquiry on the teachers’ recruitment scam, which reportedly happened in 2014-15, when Siddaramaiah was CM and Kimmane Ratnakar was education minister. While celebrating Teacher’s day on September 5, BC Nagesh, the present education minister, announced that due to some illegalities that happened in the high school teachers’ recruitment, a CID inquiry has been ordered.
The CID has not wasted time, arresting 11 persons allegedly involved in the scam, for submitting false documents and getting jobs as teachers. A case was also registered two weeks ago in the Vidhana Soudha police station, coincidentally after the 40 per cent commission allegation had broken out. Moreover, the teachers’ recruitment scam case was transferred to CID after the BJP leaders’ meeting.
The CID arrested 11 high school teachers, some of whom have allegedly been recruited even though they did not submit any application for the posts. A source in the BJP said that the party will bring up this issue in the Assembly session if the Congress attacks them on recruitment scams involving PSIs and the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL). The interrogation and investigations into this scam may reveal more unpleasant things for Congress, said the BJP source.
Meanwhile, power minister V Sunil Kumar said on Tuesday (September 6) that the department is verifying the details of the Pavagada Solar Power Plant project and its distribution. This was done during the Siddaramaiah government when DK Shivakumar was the power minister. “We will give more information after the Assembly session,” he said.
Also read: 40% commission row: Karnataka contractors admit to paying bribes, says report
So, the BJP is trying to attack the Congress in general and Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar in particular, as they are busy attacking the BJP for its alleged scams and bad administration. Though, Siddaramaiah remained silent about the inquiry into the teachers’ recruitment scam.
All-out war
The stage seems to be set for an all-out war between the BJP and Congress. For the first time, the Congress has got the upper hand as the BJP seem to be on shaky ground after the series of corruption allegations against the government – the PSI scam, KPTCL recruitment scam, charge of 40 per cent commission in the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj schemes executed by the KSCA.
Also, the Registered Unaided Private Schools Management Association (RUPSA) recently alleged a 50 per cent cut demanded by department officials to clear RTE reimbursements. However, education minister BC Nagesh brushed the allegations aside calling it “baseless” and threatened to file a defamation case against the school managements. However, he has asked the organisation to register a complaint with the competent authorities.
All these developments show that the BJP and Congress will leave no stone unturned to attain power in the coming Assembly elections in the state.
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