Looking back: CM Siddaramaiah's year book of scams and scandals

From the Rs 70 lakh watch to Meti’s sex tape, the Karnataka government’s year in review.
Looking back: CM Siddaramaiah's year book of scams and scandals
Looking back: CM Siddaramaiah's year book of scams and scandals
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From expensive watches to sex tapes, the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka saw an action-packed year of scams and scandals.

With the new year just around the corner, here’s Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s year book of controversies.

When the CM wore a Hublot watch

In February 2016, Siddaramaiah found himself embroiled in a controversy when JD(S) leader and former CM HD Kumaraswamy alleged that Siddaramaiah’s watch costs Rs 70 lakh.

This issue became a point of an extended controversy with the Opposition stalling the Assembly proceedings, demanding a probe into the matter. The CM dismissed the claims and said that the watch was gifted to him by a friend. He eventually declared it a state asset and deposited the watch with the state secretariat.

Allegation of nepotism

Just when the CM seemed to have disentangled himself from the watch controversy, another issue rocked his boat. In April, the contract to set up a CT and MRI lab at the government-run Bengaluru Medical College was given to Matrix Imaging Digital Solutions, a firm headed by the CM’s so Dr Yathindra.

The CM was accused of favouring his son. Rubbishing the claims, the CM said that he had no knowledge of the firm’s bid. However, later in the month Yathindra quit his post at Matrix.

Irrigation scam

The Siddaramaiah government faced yet another scam just after a month. In May, Irrigation Minister suspended 26 engineers in relation to a Rs 34 crore scam in development of minor irrigation tanks in Koppal and Kushtagi taluks.

The sacking of 14 Ministers

Just ahead of the cabinet reshuffle, Siddaramaiah sacked 14 ministers citing reasons of non-performance. P T Parameshwar Naik, one of the 14, had landed in a controversy after DySP of Kudligi, Anupama Shenoy had resigned alleging that Naik had interfered with her work.

The death of a cop

The death of Mangaluru DySP Ganapathi at a lodge in early July dragged the Siddaramaiah government into another scandal.

Since Ganapathy’s death, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Jagadish Shettar, had demanded Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George’s resignation, as Ganapathy had alleged that George had harassed him when he was the home minister. George was relieved of the post and reinstated after the CID gave him a clean chit.

Backing the steel flyover

The battle between the government and flyover beda activists intensified and the Siddaramaiah government faced more flak when CM Siddaramaiah backed the flyover saying that the government would go ahead with the project in October.

In protest, around 10,000 Bengalureans had formed a human chain. The project has faced severe criticism over lack of transparency.

The National Green Tribunal has issued an interim stay on the controversial project until January 18.

When the education minister ‘watched porn’

In early November, around the time when the BJP was kicking up a stench over Tipu Jayanti celebrations, a news channel reported that education minister Tanveer Sait was watching porn on his mobile.

This landed the Siddaramaiah government into another controversy it did not need. However, it was later revealed that Sait was not watching porn but viewing semi naked photos of Melania Trump.

HY Meti’s sex tape

The year did end with a bang for the Siddaramaiah government when the former Excise Minister HY Meti was embroiled in a sex scandal.

An RTI activist, Rajshekhar Mulali had released a sex tape of Meti with a woman, who alleged that Meti demanded sexual favours in return for careErying out transfers.

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