Have invited Patil to clarify the matter: Siddaramaiah on graft allegations
BR Patil, the Aland Congress MLA, on the other hand, demanded a thorough investigation into the allegations remained adamant in his stance even after the revenue minister issued a clarification
A day after senior Congress leader and MLA BR Patil, accused Karnataka revenue minister Krishna Byre Gowda of levelling corruption charges against him over public works and demanded a probe into the matter, chief minister Siddaramaiah said he had spoken with Patil and has invited him to ‘clarify’ the situation.
Addressing the media, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said, “I made an attempt to reach him [BR Patil] yesterday [Tuesday], but unfortunately, I couldn’t get through. However, we had a conversation this morning [Wednesday]. I have invited him to come and meet me so that we can clarify the situation.”
BR Patil, the Aland Congress MLA, on the other hand, demanded a thorough investigation into the allegations and remained adamant in his stance even after the revenue minister issued a clarification.
He continued to insist on a probe into the allegations made by Gowda over projects allotted in 2013. Despite Gowda’s clarification, Patil, in a letter to the chief minister, said he would attend the upcoming Belagavi assembly session only after a thorough investigation. “If I attend the session, it would be like accepting the allegations made against me. I will not attend the session until a probe is ordered,” he said in his letter to the Siddaramaiah.
Patil further explained his position, saying, “I have written to the CM to order a probe. If I am proven guilty, I will resign. Krishna Byre Gowda, while answering my question, replied as if I had taken money to grant the contract, but nobody came to my rescue. Except for Yashwant Rao Patil, nobody stood beside me during the Legislative Party meeting. I will not attend the session unless a probe is ordered and I get a clean chit.”
The work dates back to 2013, when, Patil allocated development projects in his constituency to Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), ahead of the assembly elections then, bypassing the tender process due to the urgency of the work. The projects remain unfinished, with reported sub-standard quality.
Patil had raised the issue in the legislative assembly, and in the absence of rural development minister Priyank Kharge, revenue minister Krishna Byre Gowda responded, questioning the MLA’s decision to assign the work to KRIDL. Patil said that Gowda’s response implied that he (Patil) had taken money for the allocation.
In response to Patil’s letter, Gowda said, “He [Patil] has written a letter to the chief minister. The CM will take a decision regarding this letter. I will release a copy of the response I have given in the assembly. It makes it clear what I have said.”
Reacting to the situation, Priyank Kharge expressed his intent to discuss the matter with the CM. “Krishna Byre Gowda has already clarified the issue. I had spoken to Patil and said that we would hand over the case to Justice Nagamohan Das committee. He is a man of self-respect and gets emotional. I will speak with the CM and decide to order a probe,” said Kharge.
In July, a letter allegedly written by Patil from Gulbarga district and 10 others, circulated on social media, In the letter he had written, “We are unable to work as per people’s beliefs. Over 20 ministers are not responding regarding our constituency work.”
The letter further conveyed disappointment in ministers sending messages through intermediaries when discussing project funds, adding frustration that even as local MLAs, they had to approach a third person for their work.
Although he initially, claimed the letter was fake, another MLA Basavaraj Rayareddy said such a letter was written.
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