Lokayukta cops probe DA charges against Kharge

The Raichur Lokayukta police have taken up an inquiry into a complaint of disproportionate assets (DA) against veteran Congress leader and sitting Lok Sabha member, Mallikarjun Kharge.

B T Ratnakar, General Secretary of Samaj Parivartan Samithi, Kalaburagi, has lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta police alleging that Kharge had amassed wealth misusing the office of minister and MLA and had assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The 90-page complaint with as many as 40 allegations against Kharge accuses him of misusing official position as an MLA and minister in making “illegal appointments to the posts of 1,427 (SC-backlog vacancies) assistant engineers and junior engineers.” It also states that Kharge got grants-in-aid to societies headed by him and filed false affidavits before returning officers for elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha.

The allegations refer to the period from 1980 (when Kharge was Revenue minister) till 2008 Assembly elections. Terming Kharge as “the richest Dalit leader in the country,” the complaint alleges that he owns properties worth Rs 50,000 crore.

One of the properties mentioned in the complaint is 300-acre coffee plantation in Chikkamagaluru district, worth Rs 1,000 crore.

The other properties located in Bengaluru include a huge complex in Bannerghatta worth Rs 500 cr, a building near M S Ramaiah Medical College worth Rs 25 cr, a house in his daughter’s name worth Rs 50 cr, a farmhouse near Kengeri gate on over 40 acres of government land, a house in RT Nagar, 17-acre land on Ballari Road, a three-storey building in Indira Nagar, two houses in Sadashivanagar, among others. It alleges that a number of properties stand either in his name or in the names of his spouse, sons, daughters and son-in-law. The complaint says that Kharge owns immovable properties in different cities including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Goa, Mysuru and Kalaburagi.

The complaint alleges that Kharge has helped his son-in-law in a big scale to set up a cement sacks manufacturing unit and avail a subsidy of Rs eight crore.

The Additional Director General of Police, Karnataka Lokayukta, has forwarded the complaint to the Lokayukta Superintendent of Police, Raichur division, to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. 

“This is a preliminary inquiry into the allegations. No complaint has been registered. An FIR will be filed if prima facie it appears that the allegations are true,” a Lokayukta source said.

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