BENGALURU: BJP leader N.R. Ramesh has alleged large-scale embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rs 818.89 crore by Yeshwanthpur constituency MLA S T Somashekar.
Addressing media persons here on Friday, Ramesh said, “Yeshwanthpur constituency has earned itself the infamous title of the ‘most backward constituency’ in Bengaluru. From the year 2013 till 2016, a whopping amount of Rs 818.89 crore has been released for various development works in Yeshwanthpur constituency by the BBMP, state and Central government.”
He remarked that if the entire money was spent properly, Yeshwanthpur would have turned into a paradise. But out of the Rs 818.89 crore, not even 10 percent has been spent on development works, he added.
Five BBMP wards and some villages under CMC/TMC fall under Yeshwanthpur constituency. While the BBMP collects crores of rupees from people in the form of property tax, the condition of people living in five BBMP wards falling under Yeshwanthpur constituency is very poor, Ramesh said.
Citizens in Yeshwanthpur constituency lack basic civic amenities such as roads and proper drains, he added.
According to the rules, Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd is supposed to release funds only for emergency works such as building schools, hospitals and offices and are not supposed to take up projects such as road development, asphalting works, footpath and park development. But a whopping amount of `141.63 crore has been allotted by KRIDL to the contractors because of pressure from Somashekar. He alleged these contractors were relatives of the MLA.
MLA denies charge
However responding to Ramesh’s allegations, MLA Somashekar said: “Ramesh is blackmailing me – along with MLA Byrathi Basavaraj and MLA Munirathna. Contracts have not been allotted to any of my family members. If Ramesh can prove that allegation, I am ready to step down. I will take action after going through the documents released by Ramesh.”