Opposition sees plot behind BBMP fire

Opposition sees plot behind BBMP fire

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara on Sunday alleged that the fire incident was a conspiracy to destroy files pertaining to the scam.

“The Congress had been demanding a CBI probe into the scam. But, the ruling party had rejected it. Now, an attempt has been made to destroy all evidences,” he said.

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy also unleashed a scathing attack against the ruling party for “trying to cover up its misdeeds by setting important documents on fire.”

“The incidents should not be taken lightly. A high-level probe should be ordered. Our party will demand the state government to take appropriate steps in this regard,” he said.

A large number of files and  important documents were destroyed in the fire that broke out at the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) police station located in the BBMP main office. However,  BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah maintained that none of the files pertaining to the multi-crore scam has been destroyed.

The incident took place a fortnight after a case was registered in connection with the  scam with irregularities suspected to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore. The initial estimate of misappropriation of funds in three BBMP divisions —Malleshwaram, Gandhi Nagar and Rajarajeshwari Nagar — is about Rs 1,539 crore.

Soon after the fire, the commissioner ordered a probe. Officers from the electrical inspectorate inspected the spot and are likely to submit a report on Monday. Jayaramaiah, scientist from the Forensic Science Laboratory also visited the spot Sunday morning. The lab will give its report in a couple of days, Siddaiah said.

Udayashankar, Opposition leader in the BBMP, said the scam has taken place between 2008 and 2011 when the Palike was in the control of the BJP.

“The government and BJP MLAs had been calling the shots in the BBMP.  We have records to prove that documents pertaining to 2009-10 and 2010-11 have gone missing. The open loot had taken place during the administrator’s rule in the Palike,” he alleged.

Former mayor P R Ramesh called it a deliberate act to derail the probe. “We have been saying that there has been misuse of funds for the last four years and we have RTI documents to prove it. The Commissioner’s decision to hand over the case to the BMTF has only strengthened our belief,” said Ramesh.

CM promises action

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday  told the media in Mysore that the government has taken the incident “seriously.”

“This is a serious issue. I have sought a report from the police by this evening. The government will act upon the report at the earliest,” he said.