A section of the Congress legislators on Saturday claimed that JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy owned several expensive watches, including Franck Muller and Rado, and his son Nikhil Gowda drove high-end cars such as Lamborghini, Range Rover and Infinity Ex35.
Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, as many as 10 Congress legislators, including V S Ugrappa and H M Revanna, claimed that Kumaraswamy had not declared these items in his election affidavit. In a late reaction to Kumaraswamy’s claim that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wore a Rs 70-lakh Swiss-made Hublot wristwatch, the legislators at the Saturday’s press conference released copies of photos of Kumaraswamy wearing what they claimed were Franck Muller and Rado watches worth Rs 25 lakh and Rs two lakh, respectively. However, the Congress legislators did not release any documents to support their arguments.
“Kumaraswamy should realise that people who live in glasshouses should not throw stones. From where did he get these expensive items? What favours did he do to get them?” they asked.
Ugrappa claimed that while Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil had registered the Range Rover (worth Rs 50 lakh), the Lamborghini and Infinity Ex35 had not been registered with the RTO. They said Siddaramaiah still had the time to declare the gifts he had received (till March this year) or opt to hand over all the gifts to the government soon after completing his tenure. However, it was nearly 10 years since Kumaraswamy relinquished the office of chief minister but had not found the time to declare the gifts he had received, they said.
Ugrappa accused Kumaraswamy of receiving a car worth Rs 6.7 crore and a watch worth Rs 1.3 crore from a Dubai-based businessman. He claimed the Lamborghini owned by Nikhil was worth Rs eight crore and Infinity Ex35 Rs 1.2 crore. (However, automobile website www.cardekho.com puts the ex-showroom price of these cars in India at Rs 5.22 crore and Rs 28 lakh, respectively).
HDK refutes charges
Rubbishing the charges, Kumaraswamy said that his son was not a public servant, but a private individual who can purchase cars of his choice.
“My son, being a private person, will buy a car worth Rs five crore, Rs 10 crore, or even Rs 50 crore. He is answerable to the IT department, and not Siddaramaiah,” he said. He also argued that at no point he had mentioned the name of Siddaramaiah’s son and the same should be reciprocated. Branding Ugrappa as the mouthpiece of Siddaramaiah, and one among the Siddaramaiah Protection Group’ (SPG), the JD(S) leader said he would be coming out with more details of Siddaramaiah’s properties.