Former Chief Minister and prominent BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai has raised serious allegations against the Congress government in Karnataka, demanding a thorough investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the “illegal money” that was reportedly recovered during recent Income Tax department searches. Bommai’s accusations revolve around what he perceives as collusion between the state government and select contractors in an alleged scheme to amass funds.
The former chief minister, whose own government had previously faced allegations from contractors of imposing a 40 percent commission on their dealings, now points to the Contractors’ Association as the Congress government’s “commission collection center.” He alleges that IT officials discovered a significant cache of money hidden in various boxes during searches conducted at properties linked to a city-based contractor, raising concerns of corruption and impropriety.
Bommai’s contentions go further, asserting that corruption has allegedly infiltrated various aspects of governance in Karnataka, including the transfers of officials, ever since the new government assumed power. He claims that the state has been plundered by the Congress dispensation to serve as an “ATM for the Congress party,” purportedly to fund the upcoming elections in five states. In his words, “This is the most corrupt government that Karnataka has seen.”
He continues by stating, “Corruption is seen from village till Vidhana Soudha, and it has been going on openly.” Specifically addressing the cash seizure, Bommai underlines that it is unprecedented for such a substantial sum of money to be uncovered at a contractor’s residence, especially in the aftermath of bill payments to contractors. This, in his view, substantiates the allegations that the government was receiving a 10 percent commission for bill clearance, implying that more instances of commission may surface if investigations broaden to encompass other contractors.
Accusing the state Congress leaders of acting as an “ATM” for the upcoming assembly elections in five states, Bommai suggests that they lack the moral high ground to comment on issues of corruption. He also highlights a recent meeting between the State Contractors’ Association President Kempanna and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, where allegations of selective payments for contractors’ dues were made. Bommai asserts that this meeting further supports the claim that bills of contractors who have paid commissions have been prioritized for clearance.
In light of these allegations, Basavaraj Bommai calls for a comprehensive investigation into the matter, urging the ED to probe the situation under the Money Laundering Act and the CBI to initiate an inquiry under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He also suggests that if the chief minister bears no responsibility in the matter, he should refer the case to the Lokayukta or the Justice Nagmohan Das commission, established by Siddaramaiah himself, which is currently investigating allegations that the previous BJP government collected a 40 percent commission from contractors. The allegations and investigations underscore the need for transparency and accountability in government operations in Karnataka.
Sources By Agencies