Updated: November 26, 2021 8:19:27 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai Friday termed Congress’s complaint to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on corruption in the state and demand to dismiss the BJP government “ridiculous”.
A Congress delegation, led by senior leaders Siddaramaiah and the party’s state chief D K Shivakumar, Thursday evening met Gehlot and urged him to invoke Article 356 and impose President’s rule in the state over “failure of constitutional machinery” and “rampant corruption in the state”.
Speaking to mediapersons after participating in the Constitution Day celebrations in Davanagere, he said, “The letter to the Governor reflects the percentage culture that prevailed during the previous Congress regime towards Contractors. It is the Congress leaders who are the creators of the percentage culture. It is Congressmen who have been increasing it (percentage) periodically. The whispering conversation between two Congress leaders which was captured by visual media recently has blown the lid off the Congress’s percentage culture. It is ridiculous that the same people have now lodged a complaint with the Governor.”
The petition to the governor stated, “There is rampant corruption, maladministration in the state, which has caused loss of several thousand crores to exchequer and the same has been misused by some of the ministers, MLAs, MPs and officials.”
Reacting to this, Bommai said, “Considering Congress party’s special interest about percentage in tenders of civil works, tenders approved during their regime too would be subjected to probe.”
Referring to the reported letter written by contractors which triggered the row, Bommai said, the letter had no details nor mentioned any specific cases. It was a general letter.
Bommai Thursday ordered a probe into the alleged kickback charges across the state following a letter by contractors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue. He said he has asked Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar to conduct a probe into the allegations made by Karnataka State Contractors Association in its letter on July 6.
The association had said they are made to give around 25-30 per cent of the tender amount to elected representatives and others before starting work. “The contractors face an unhealthy atmosphere and are discouraged from taking up the works of roads and buildings. They are facing an untoward and ugly situation in getting the tender works in various departments like public works department, minor and major irrigation, panchayat raj engineering, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, health department, etc,” the letter to the PM read.
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