Siddaramaiah dares Kumaraswamy to prove charges

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday challenged JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy to prove his allegations against him that he had tried to influence the KPSC, to select some candidates who had written the 2011 exams.

When reporters drew the chief minister’s attention to Kumaraswamy’s allegations that Siddaramaiah had called the KPSC several times to select certain candidates, the chief minister said, “When in public life, one comes under pressure and makes a number of recommendations. This should not be misconstrued as making someone indulge in irregularities. Assuming that I had made the calls, can anyone prove that I had asked them to take money in return for selection. The final authority to select candidates rests with the KPSC members.”

When asked about Kumaraswamy’s support to the agitation by candidates who are demanding that the government reconsider its decision of rejecting the KPSC selection list, the chief minister said: “Kumaraswamy claims to be fighting corruption, but now he is supporting the protest. He has to justify his stand,” he said.

At the same time he reiterated that there was “no question of reconsidering” the government’s decision on the issue. “It is not only the 362 selected candidates who are suffering. Over 700 candidates who wrote the mains examinations could not even appear for their interviews due to corrupt practices. Even they have the right to justice,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said that the decision to scrap the list was taken due to widespread corruption and irregularities found by the CID investigation. “The advocate general and the legal department have also given their opinion on scrapping the list. How can I then accept the demand of protesting candidates?” he said.

He pointed out that there was a lot of discussion on the matter in the Assembly and that there was a need to instil fear in the minds of those who try to commit such irregularities in future.

At another event later in the day, Siddaramaiah said that he does not find it necessary to react to Kumaraswamy’s challenge for a public debate on the issue.

Speaking to reporters, he said he cannot reply to all that Kumaraswamy has stated. The government has taken the decision after consulting legal experts and with an intention to end corruption in KPSC, he added. Asked about the JD(S) leader’s demand that the government should convene a special session of the legislature to discuss the issue, the chief minister said the session was held for nearly a month recently. The government will decide on convening the session, he added.

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