Amid allegations by the BJP that he had a role in the escape of IMA ponzi scam accused Mohammed Mansoor Khan, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy Monday said he “did not eat biryani” with him. Kumaraswamy’s response came in an apparent reference to a picture of him purportedly showing sharing a meal with Khan.
“I am accused of having Biryani at a particular person’s house. I was invited during Ramzan. I went there. I did not eat any Biryani. After two health scares, I have given up non-vegetarian food. I picked up only two morsels of rice,” news agency ANI quoted the CM as saying in the Assembly during a discussion on the trust vote.
Kumaraswamy was replying to BJP leader CT Ravi, who raised the issue of the multi-crore scam during the debate. Follow LIVE updates here
“After a report was sent from IT department in the centre to my police, that”s when I spoke to the DG (of police) about the lapse in inquiry. When I went to IMA accused’s office, I saw RBI certificate (on his tax payment). Now, SIT has been successful in nabbing him and they have brought him to Bengaluru. They will investigate now. We will not misuse our govt machineries,” ANI quoted Kumaraswamy as saying.
The IMA Group floated a ponzi scheme, offering investors returns to the tune of 36 to 64 per cent on investments, in line with Sharia principles of Islam. It attracted thousands of investors, mostly Muslims.
Khan is accused of perpetrating a scam worth more than Rs 1,500 crore through his company’s ponzi investment scheme. Before escaping, he had accused Congress MLA Roshan Baig, among others, of triggering the company’s fall by failing to return the money. Baig, who is among the rebel MLAs, was detained and later freed in connection with the alleged scam.
Last week, the twitter handle of BJP’s Karnataka unit shared a picture of the Chief Minister with Khan, implying his role in Khan’s escape.
Along with the image, the party wrote, ” First & foremost will @JanataDal_S mind explaining people of the Karnataka how did IMA fraudster escape from the state under the watch of @hd_kumaraswamy? BTW this picture of @hd_kumaraswamy having Biryani with IMA fraudster explains a lot about how the escape was planned.”
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Assembly debated the confidence motion moved by Kumaraswamy for the third time Monday, with the Congress insisting that it not be put to vote till the chair decides on the resignations submitted by the rebel MLAs to the House.
Stung by the resignation of 15 MLAs, the strength of Kumaraswamy government in the 225-member Assembly reduced to 102 MLAs compared to the opposition BJP’s 105 MLAs plus two Independents.