'After making so much noise...': Siddaramaiah questions contractors' silence

Siddaramaiah said he has grown suspicious after the Association members met Bommai last month
Last Updated 18 May 2022, 17:25 IST

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah on Wednesday wondered if Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and the Karnataka State Contractors' Association have struck a deal.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said he has grown suspicious after the Association members met Bommai last month.

"After making so much noise, they (Association) have gone quiet. Won't it raise questions," Siddaramaiah asked. He was referring to the Association having gone public with its allegation that contractors are forced to pay 40% commission, which the Congress latched on to.

"The contractors' association had threatened to stop all works if the government failed to take action. Meanwhile, Bommai called them for a meeting. I don't know what internal understanding happened. Looking at their silence, it could be that some golmaal has taken place," Siddaramaiah said.

Asked if the Congress got misled by the contractors' association, Siddaramaiah said: "We haven't been misled and our protests have not gone in vain. Their allegations won't go away even if there's some internal understanding."

The Congress leader pointed out that the Association president D Kempanna had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 40% commission charge. "The letter itself is a document. We demanded a probe based on that," he said.

'House panel probe'

Siddaramaiah demanded a House committee to look into works on the Narayanapura dam's right bank canal, which he claimed is a scam worth Rs 800 crore.

"Two tenders were floated worth Rs 1,619 crore for extension, renovation and modernisation (ERM) of the distributaries (canals). The tenders were awarded to ND Vaddar. He's the brother of ex-MLA Manappa Vajjal. Works worth Rs 800 crore have been done and so far Rs 425 crore has been paid. However, bills were raised for works that weren't done at all," Siddaramaiah said.

He also quoted a report of a 6-member technical committee that raised questions on the necessity of the works being carried out.

"Also, the Legislature Committee on Estimates headed by BJP MLA Abhay Patil was prevented from inspecting the works by the contractor's henchmen. No action was taken. The committee did not file a complaint because there was pressure from above," Siddaramaiah claimed.

(Published 18 May 2022, 17:25 IST)

Follow us on