Siddaramaiah slams Shah as 'political trader' who takes in corrupt people into BJP

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Politics

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (PTI Photo)

BENGALURU: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah took a dig at Union Home Minister Amit Shah for calling the Congress corrupt by terming the latter a "political trader" who inducted tainted people in the state BJP.

In a series of tweets on Friday night, Siddaramaiah sarcastically "commended" the hypocrisy of Shah for talking about corruption despite retaining leaders in the Karnataka unit of BJP who are steeped in wrongdoing by charging 40 per cent commission in recruitment, transfer, promotion, allocation of grants, implementation of works and payment of bills.

"It is funny that the Home Minister @AmitShah, a political trader, who has put the post of Chief Minister for sale for Rs 2,000 crore, is accusing the Congress party of corruption," Siddaramaiah tweeted.

"Since its inception, the BJP government, which is an illegal child borne out of the Operation Lotus, has gifted death to the poor and wealth to the corrupt and turned Vidhana Soudha into a den of corruption. What is your share in this 40%, Mr Amit Shah?" the Congress stalwart said.

The Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly also alleged that some contractors died by suicide due to the 40 per cent commission demanded by BJP leaders in the state. He also sought to know whether these contractors would get justice.

Earlier in the year, the suicide of Belagavi-based contractor and BJP worker Santosh Patil leaving behind a message holding the BJP's Shivamogga MLA K S Eshwarappa responsible for his death as the ruling party leader allegedly demanded 40 per cent commission kicked off a political firestorm. After the incident, Eshwarappa resigned as the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister.

Siddaramaiah also rued that Karnataka has not received its complete share of GST compensation, grants have not been released for centrally-sponsored projects in the state and the farmers have not received compensation for excess rain, drought and crop damage.

The Congress leader's tweets came as Shah is in the city for the past two days to take part in a host of events in poll-bound Karnataka.

Reacting to the allegations, the BJP in Karnataka said the "lies about commissions, which is part of the Congress toolkit", will never become a truth despite saying it repeatedly.

The party took to Twitter and slammed Siddaramaiah for spreading lies. It said the Congress could not give any proof of corruption despite the Prime Minister's Office demanding for it. The opposition party had no evidence to furnish in the court, it said.

"There is no sale of Chief Minister's post in our party but those who have sold the Congress party's ticket (to aspiring MLAs), it is quite obvious to have such thought. The CAG had said in its report that it did not find any account of Rs 35,000 crore spent by your government (from 2013 to 2018)," the BJP alleged in a tweet.