A war of words has ensued between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP in Karnataka following the recovery of unaccounted cash of over Rs 50 crore from people including Rs 42 crore from a contractor in the recent Income Tax raids in Bengaluru.
BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel said that the money was linked to the Congress, which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah denied, saying it was a baseless allegation.
The state BJP has decided to stage demonstrations in various district and Taluk headquarters demanding the resignation of Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar on Monday and Tuesday.
Accusing the Congress of running an ATM government in the state to fund the elections in five poll-bound states, Nalin Kateel alleged that the seized cash belonged to the Congress.
“Tomorrow and day after tomorrow, the BJP will stage a massive demonstration in all the district and Taluk headquarters,” Nalin Kateel told reporters after a meeting with the district and Taluk unit office-bearers.
He alleged there is a looting government in the state, which is collecting money.
“When we said that there is an ATM government in the state, the Congress demanded proof. Today Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar have given us evidence,” the BJP state chief charged.
Nalin Kateel, who is an MP from Dakshina Kannada constituency, claimed that just a few days ago Rs 600 crore was released to the contractors and then over Rs 45 crore was seized from a contractor’s house.
“It is very clear that this money is linked to the Congress. This is Congress’ money only. I demand that the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister resign owning moral responsibility,” Nalin Kateel said.
He further charged that the ‘ATM government’ in Karnataka was looting money to fund the elections campaigns in five poll-bound states.
Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi alleged that the Congress has set a target of collecting Rs 1,000 crore from Karnataka alone.
Dismissing the allegations, Siddaramaiah said, “This is a baseless allegation. Contractors do not belong to any political party. Neither we ask them (contractors), nor they give us,” he told reporters in Mysuru.
Income Tax sleuths raided more than 45 places in Karnataka, mostly in Bengaluru and seized over Rs 50 crore from various people including Rs 42 crore from a contractor and his son.
The raids began on Thursday and are still going on, an I-T department official said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)