Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rejected Thursday comparisons between his Cabinet and that of former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa after the inclusion Wednesday of two senior Congress leaders earlier kept out on account of pending corruption cases against them.
An angry Siddaramaiah said the two new ministers,D K Shivakumar and R Roshan Baig,had not been jailed for corruption like former BJP minister G Janardhan Reddy and were not being investigated by the CBI like Yeddyurappa.
With the BJP threatening to take to the streets protesting the induction of the two tainted legislators into the Cabinet,Siddaramaiah said the opposition party did not have the moral right to question Congress appointments.
He said senior BJP leaders K S Eshwarappa and R Ashok remained in the government between 2008 and 2013 despite corruption cases against them.
They have not been proven guilty in any court. There is nothing wrong in inducting them into the Cabinet, Siddaramaiah said when asked about his change of heart regarding Shivakumar and Baig.
Shivakumar faces allegations of illegal mining and a land scam. Baig has been accused of alienating government land allotted to him and he also figured in the fake stamp paper probe in 2002.
Their induction is set to trigger protests in and outside the Congress by other ministerial aspirants and anti-corruption protesters.