HDK, DKS clash as House panel finalises power 'scam' report

HDK, DKS clash as House panel finalises power 'scam' report

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy has locked horns with Energy Minister D K Shivakumar over a House committee report on irregularities in power purchases, accusing the state government of "shielding corruption."

The committee, headed by Shivakumar, finalised its report on Tuesday with only three members - Congress MLAs K N Rajanna, P M Narendra Swamy and Shivanand Patil - while Kumaraswamy, along with BJP's Basavaraj Bommai and Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, skipped the final meeting.

"It is obvious that the Energy department is shunning transparency in order to protect the corrupt," Kumaraswamy charged in a written submission to the committee Tuesday. "Documents concerning power purchases, which were given to me after repeated requests, were not in order. The information given was incomplete. The photocopies were not legible. To protect someone, the government did not provide proper documents for the House committee to review," he stated.

The committee is looking into "reckless" purchase of high-cost power between 2005 and 2013.

Kumaraswamy pointed out that BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje, who was energy minister when the saffron party was in power, had misled the Cabinet on the need to cancel a long-term power purchase tender "in order to buy time for a private company that faced shortage of coal supply." The cancellation cost the exchequer a loss of Rs 29,413 crore, he concluded.  

"Let Kumaraswamy say whatever he wants politically," Shivakumar told reporters on seeking his reaction to the former chief minister's letter. "Members from all three parties have given their final opinion and they have been incorporated. If Kumaraswamy had a problem, why did he send us a note with his opinions," he asked. "If some people are happy accusing us, then let it be."

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