The Vice Chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi has kicked off a controversy by claiming that bribery was the only way to get work done by the Karnataka government.
Addressing students and professors at the University’s silver jubilee celebrations on Wednesday, VC Mallika S Ghanti, reportedly said, "Assurances by the state government are valid only for that day, and forgotten the next day. Unless we take a suitcase full of cash to Vidhana Soudha, none of our problems are solved by the government.”
A day later, she again said, "To whom should we explain our university's problems? If we take our problems to the government, they need a suitcase full of cash to solve it. Earlier, they would send the suitcase full of cash to develop the university. Now, I need to take a suitcase full of cash and plead with them to develop the university."
The state government has taken strong exception to the VC’s public remarks and will issue her a show cause notice over them. Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy said that the VC had to explain who she had given suitcases of money to at Vidhan Soudha.
“I don’t know why she has made such a statement. But it is an irresponsible statement and I will seek an explanation from her,” the Minister said on Thursday.
Following the furore, the VC said that her statement was not intended for the current Siddaramaiah-led government, and she was reaffirming the statements of previous VCs on successive governments.
The BJP, however, has tried to capitalise on the situation, with party spokesperson and MLA Suresh Kumar issuing a statement alleging that the current dispensation has been the most corrupt.
“The Chief Minister has been trying to mislead the people by stating that there is not a single corruption charge against his government. He has been rubbishing the BJP’s charges. Now what does he got to say?” Kumar reportedly asked.
This is not the first time that Ghanti has made provocative statements against the government. In November 2016, Ghanti had alleged that the government was neglecting the university despite being repeatedly told about fund shortages. “It is painful to go with a begging bowl at our own home.”