Nation Current Affairs 26 Feb 2016 CM Siddaramaiah: My ...

CM Siddaramaiah: My old Dubai-based friend gifted me Hublot

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 26, 2016, 7:53 am IST
Updated Feb 26, 2016, 7:53 am IST
He said the watch was gifted to him by Dr Varma in July 2015 and it was a ‘second-hand watch’.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Chief Minister narrated the story behind the expensive watch.
 Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Chief Minister narrated the story behind the expensive watch.

Bengaluru: After a month-long controversy over his expensive watch, CM Siddaramaiah made it known to the media on Thursday that the Hublot watch was gifted to him by an old friend and a Dubai-based doctor, Girish Chandra Varma.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Chief Minister narrated the story behind the expensive watch. He said the watch was gifted to him by Dr Varma in July 2015 and it was a ‘second-hand watch’.

 

The CM has also decided to put a permanent end to the watch episode by declaring it a state asset. Before that, he will declare the watch before the Lokayukta as an asset and also declare it before the Income tax department while filing returns.

While declaring it as an asset, the CM will say the watch was gifted by his friend and will also pay gift tax before March 2016.

“Henceforth I will not wear that watch. I will hand it over to the state government and it will be kept in the Cabinet hall at Vidhana Soudha. Along with an Omega watch, which was gifted to then Chief Minister Nijalingappa, this watch will be kept in the Cabinet hall,” he  said.

 

“I don’t know the value of the watch. My friend Dr Varma told me that he had paid 75000 Dirhams in Dubai and insisted I wear it, but it has made big news”, the CM said.  (One dirham is equal to Rs 18.71 in Indian rupees, so the approximate value of the Hublot is Rs 13 lakh according to CM).

“I and Dr Varma are friends since 1983. In July, 2015, he met me in Bengaluru. He was overwhelmed when he saw me after several years and removed his watch and insisted I wear it. I am not used to wearing that kind of watch, I live a simple life, my family too has a down to earth lifestyle,” he said.

 

“I wore that watch only for four months from July end to November, 2015. When  Kumaraswamy raised the watch issue, I was not wearing it. But he displayed the photo and created a  big hangama", Siddaramaiah added. 

"I telephoned Dr Varma and told him that the watch had created problems and he said he would come to Bengaluru and provide the necessary documents on purchase of the watch. He arrived in Bengaluru on February 22 and gave a sworn affidavit stating it was gifted to me and he also provided the bill,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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