Congress MLAs accuse minister of demanding bribe, seek resignation

The ruling Congress legislators are understood to have charged Minor Irrigation Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi with demanding bribe for transferring officials in his department, and urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to immediately drop him from the council of ministers.

IT&BT Minister S R Patil also faced the ire of the party legislators for neglecting Congress workers in Bagalkot district.

Raising the issue at the Congress Legislature Party meeting chaired by the chief minister at the Suvarna Soudha here, Congress MLA from Yeshwantpur constituency, S T Somashekar, charged Tangadagi with demanding Rs 3 lakh from an assistant executive engineer for transferring him to a particular place.

This despite the MLA recommending his transfer, he said. Tangadagi was not present at the meeting. Malikaiah Guttedar, K B Koliwad and other MLAs, too, are learnt to have backed Somashekar.

Besides, Guttedar is learnt to have accused the minister of indulging in irregularities in implementing development projects. The minister is trying to please the Opposition leaders and neglecting the Congress leaders. He has retained his personal secretary and personal assistants who were hired when he was the minister in the BJP government in the past, he added.

Siddaramaiah is learnt to have assured the MLAs that he would personally talk to the minister and ask him to mend his ways. Somashekar even said he was planning to complaint against such ministers to the party high command.

Party MLAs from Bagalkot, B B Chimmanakatti, Vijayanand Kashappanavar and Siddu Nyamagouda demanded that S R Patil be sacked from the Cabinet, charging him with indulging in nepotism, favouritism and working against the party in the district.

The minister hardly visits the party MLAs’ constituencies. He ill-treats the Congress workers in the district and has a soft corner for the Opposition parties. He has been damaging the image of the Congress and the party will face defeat in the coming panchayat elections if he is not removed from his post, Kashappanavar is learnt to said.

The minister was present at the meeting. This apart, M Narayanaswamy took a dig at Health Minister U T Khader for not appointing doctors in government hospitals. Another MLA, Shivanand Patil, suggested to the chief minister to convene a separate meeting of MLAs so that they can air their grievances against the ministers.
DH News Service

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