Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar on Saturday levelled two more corruption charges against Textile Minister Baburao Chinchansur and demanded his resignation.
Releasing documents and audio clips to substantiate his accusations, Shettar said that Chinchansur had taken a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Ajit, managing director of a Bengaluru-based KBR Infratech Pvt Ltd, to help the company bag KIADB works in his constituency, Gurmitkal, in Yagdir district.
Shettar said that there were references establishing involvement of Industries Minister R V Deshpande in one of the alleged scams. Deshpande should immediately clarify his stand and tender his resignation on moral grounds, till the investigation is completed, he added. Demanding a CBI probe into the scams, Shettar said if the minister refuses to quit, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should drop him from the Cabinet.
Mounted pressure on RVD
Chinchansur had also built pressure on Deshpande for awarding works to the said company, apart from demanding a bribe of Rs 2 crore from the company. In the audio clip, a voice (said to be that of Chinchansur) is heard demanding the amount immediately as the zilla panchayat polls were on. The other voice (said to be that of Ajit) is heard saying that it would not be possible for the company to pay the hefty amount, as it had committed to pay “Rs 1.5 crore to Deshpande”. “It is pretty apparent that the managing director of the company is pleading with Chinchansur to reduce the amount as he has to pay Rs 1.5 crore to Industries Minister Deshpande,” said Shettar.
The man is also heard saying that Deshpande holds a “Cabinet rank,” while Chinchansur holds “minister of state (MoS)” rank, and that it is important for the company to keep both ministers “happy.” Shettar demanded that works awarded to KBR Infratech (on January 6, 2016) be immediately cancelled.
“Coerced” Jain too
Referring to another project, Shettar accused that Chinchansur had accepted a bribe of Rs 2 crore, from a Chennai-based company Sripathi Associates to help it bag Rs 102-crore breakwater/guide bund works at Gangolli port in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district.
He said that Chinchansur had “coerced” Fisheries Minister Abhayachandra Jain into considering Sripathi Associates for the project, though the Fisheries department had refused to consider the company.
Jain had issued an order cancelling the tender as it would mean an additional burden of Rs 24 crore on the exchequer. However, Jain subsequently wrote to the government stating that the matter be placed before the Cabinet.
Shettar also released an audio clip of a conversation between Chinchansur and Sundar Rajan of Sripathi Associates, to substantiate his allegations.