CM defends George, says 20 Union ministers face criminal charges

CM defends George, says 20 Union ministers face criminal charges

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday rejected the BJP's demand to seek the resignation of Bengaluru City Development Minister K J George.

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed an FIR against George, naming him accused number one (A1), in connection with the death of DySP M K Ganapathy.

The FIR has dealt a blow to the Congress ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections.

"This is a clear attempt to tarnish the image of George and reap political gains," Siddaramaiah told a press conference, after a meeting with key ministers and Congress leaders on how to tackle the BJP's demand.

"As a matter of fact, an FIR filed against anybody is not proof of the allegation or charges a person is facing. The question of George's resigning does not arise," Siddaramaiah said.

In July 2016, Ganapathy gave an interview to a local TV channel accusing George and two IPS officers of torture.

He was later found hanging from a ceiling fan in a lodge in Madikeri.

The state government had ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

During the probe, George, the then home minister, had resigned and the two IPS officers were transferred.

The CID later closed the case for lack of evidence and George was re-inducted into the Cabinet.

Stout defence
Launching a direct attack on the Centre, Siddaramaiah said 20 out of the 64 ministers in the BJP-led NDA government have criminal cases against them.

"Eight of them are Cabinet ministers and there are 11 ministers facing serious criminal charges such as an attempt to murder. They should also resign. Why isn't the BJP demanding their resignation?" Siddaramaiah asked.

"For example, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is facing charges of criminal intimidation, attempt to murder and rioting," Siddaramaiah explained.

BJP parliamentarians Ramesh Jigajinagi, B Sriramulu, Nalin Kumar Kateel, Prahlad Joshi, Suresh Angadi and Karadi Sanganna are also facing charges, the chief minister said.

"B S Yeddyurappa (state BJP chief) has seven charges of cheating, six charges of criminal breach of trust and forgery of records against him," Siddaramaiah added.

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