The war of words began when Yeddyurappa alleged that the Congress had received crores in kickbacks for the steel flyover project

Karnataka BJP and JDS start political war of words after Congress MLA faces IT raid
news Politics Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 19:02

The I-T raid conducted on Congress MLA MTB Nagraj’s house on February 9 in Bengaluru, has quickly escalated into a political blame game. Allegations and counter-allegations have been flying between the major parties since, over allegations that state leaders had received kickbacks from the steel flyover project.

In the raid last week, I-T sleuths had said that they recovered Rs 1.1 crore unexplained cash and 10kg gold from Nagaraj’s residence. An official in the I-T Department said that the MLA has admitted to concealing income of family members exceeding Rs 120 crore.

“The income of the MLA’s family members, which he has admitted to not disclosing includes unaccounted property, investments and construction of commercial outlets, a hospital, multiple houses,” an official from the I-T Department said.

While the BJP and the Congress have been exchanging allegations and barbs on the issue since Monday, the JD(S) stepped into the fray on Wednesday with a new set of allegations.

Claiming that all politicians receive kickbacks, JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda made certain claims regarding where money received in kickbacks normally goes.

“All politicians receive kickbacks and this cannot be denied. However, only 10% of what is received is sent to the national high command. The remaining money is distributed among local leaders,” Deve Gowda told mediapersons on Wednesday.

Deve Gowda was speaking in the context of Yeddyurappa’s allegations on Monday that that Siddaramaiah and his aides had received kickbacks worth Rs 150 crore for the steel flyover project and that Rs 1,000 crore was sent to the party high command in New Delhi.

Yeddyurappa had stated that the I-T department had found a diary during the raids in which the MLA had penned down information regarding the kickbacks.

Following this, the Congress held a hurried press conference on Tuesday night and produced a video allegedly showing Yeddyurappa and national BJP leaders discussing how to keep the issue of kickbacks alive till the 2018 polls.

Reacting strongly to BS Yeddyurappa’s words, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at Yeddyurappa on Tuesday, calling him the “most corrupt politician he has ever known”.

On Wednesday, Siddaramaiah said that MTB Nagaraj was an honest man. “Just because the Income Tax Department carried out raids on MTB Nagaraj’s house does not mean that he is guilty of corruption. Whatever the recovery may be from the raids, there is still no proof that he was involved in corruption. Nagaraj was born in a wealthy family and had inherited a lot of property,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, while defending Nagaraj during the assembly session on Tuesday.

 

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