Probe against Renuka leads to controversy

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s direction to probe into a complaint alleging Excise Minister M P Renukacharya of abetting department officials in extorting money from wine store owners has triggered a fresh controversy in the faction-ridden ruling BJP.

In a complaint to Gowda, R Danaraj, JD(S) General Secretary from Dakshina Kannada district, had alleged that the minister was involved in various irregularities.

Danaraj accused Renukacharya, a Yeddyurappa loyalist of extorting money from wine shop owners for no tenable reason and taking money to affect transfers.

The CM’s decision to initiate probe by excise commissioner comes at a time when the Yeddyurappa camp is spearheading a campaign to oust Gowda.

Gowda’s decision has not gone well with Renukacharya. “Gowda should have consulted me before initiating the probe,” Renukacharya said adding that he was being made a scapegoat.

He claimed that excise revenue had gone up and he had tightened administration to curb manufacture of illicit liquor and violations by wine store owners. The Yeddyurappa camp has also accused Gowda of hobnobbing with the JD(S).

 “The complaint is a political conspiracy against me. I am willing to face any probe and will come out clean,” Renukacharya said.

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