Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has rejected reports based on an RTI reply that there are 450 people working in the Chief Minister's ministerial office. He clarified that the number was actually 282, which is lesser than the number of people employed by the office during the tenure of former CM Siddaramaiah.
"The number of people working in the office is actually 282 and not 450. I have not appointed new people. Under former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, there were 284 people working in this office. In Yeddyurappa and Sadananda Gowda's tenure, it was around 350 people," Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bengaluru in an attempt to clear up the issue.
The issue was raised by activist BS Gowda who stated that there are 450 members working in the CM's office after he received a response to an RTI application seeking information on the personnel working in the Chief Minister's office.
BS Gowda had filed three RTI applications specifically asking information about the number of staff working on deputation, On Other Duty(OOD) drawn from different departments and boards and corporations. the number of staff in B, C and D group, the number of staff working on contract basis.
Kumaraswamy clarified that the RTI reply stating the number of personnel working in the CM office as 450 is a combined figure adding up all the categories including OOD officers and contract officers.
Kumaraswamy's clarification states that he is not unnecessarily spending public money. “Yesterday I travelled to Mangaluru and I did not take any special flight. I travelled in a regular flight,” he said.
In July, an RTI reply had revealed that Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony in May earlier this year had cost the exchequer Rs 43 lakh, with an amount of over Rs 15 lakh reportedly spent on ‘high tea’ for the luminary of guests invited to the ceremony.