Cash seizure: BJP to hold statewide stirs today

Cash seizure: BJP to hold statewide stirs today

BJP national president Amit Shah will visit Karnataka on January 9 to get started with the saffron party’s preparation for the Lok Sabha polls.

Shah will visit Tumakuru where he will take stock of the Tumkur, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru Rural and Chitradurga Lok Sabha seats by meeting the leaders in charge of the election in these constituencies.

Shah is slated to address a massive rally the same day in Tumakuru. “Shah will address the Shakti Kendra pramukhs and Tumakuru district booth workers. We expect 10,000-12,000 party workers to gather,” BJP Kumar said. Shah will also visit Shivakumar Swami of Siddaganga Mutt.

The BJP on Saturday demanded that Congress’ Backward Classes Welfare Minister C Puttarangashetty, in whose Vidhana Soudha office a staffer was caught with Rs 26 lakh cash, should resign.

BJP MLC N Ravi Kumar hit out at the H D Kumaraswamy administration for “operating a mafia” inside the Vidhana Soudha. “The BJP will stage statewide protests on January 6, demanding Puttarangashetty’s resignation,” he said.

Based on a tip-off, a typist identified as Mohan working in Puttarangashetty’s office was caught with Rs 25.76 lakh by the Vidhana Soudha police on Friday evening.

Kumar charged that the money was “a day’s collection” for the minister. “If that is the case, what must be the chief minister’s daily collection? The previous Congress government was a ‘10% commission sarkar’ and so is this government,” he said. “After the cash seizure, I realise why the chief minister stays in a hotel.”  

Much to the Congress’ embarrassment, senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti, too, said Puttarangashetty should step down.

“Ethics require any minister facing allegation to step down till the person is cleared of the charge. Also, since the person carrying the cash is said to be the minister’s personal assistant, (Puttarangashetty) can resign and then an inquiry can be started,” Horatti told reporters in Hubballi.

At a public event in June earlier this year, soon after he took charge, Kumaraswamy remarked that touts walked the corridors of Vidhana Soudha and that “corruption ruled all three floors” of the state secretariat.

Transparent probe: CM

CM Kumaraswamy said on Saturday that the government would not intervene in the investigation in connection with seizure of Rs 25.76 lakh unaccounted cash at the Vidhana Soudha entrance.

“There won’t be misuse of power, but transparent probe,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Home Minister M B Patil suspected that Mohan, the suspect in the case, had no links with Backward Classes Welfare Minister C Puttarangashetty.

MLC Basavaraj Horatti sought the minister’s resignation, while MLA Jagadish Shettar charged that corruption in the coalition government was rampant.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Mohan should be dismissed if he was employed at the Vidhana Soudha.