Bengaluru: Accusing Congress leaders of creating unnecessary confusion over the alleged ‘bitcoin scam’, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Thursday challenged them to provide evidence if any, to the investigating agencies.
He also accused the Congress of indulging in “hit and run” regarding the issue.
Pointing out that the accused in the bitcoin case, Srikrishna alias Sriki, was arrested during the Congress regime in connection with a brawl in a hotel, Jnanendra said, “Congress leaders knew who all were associated with him.”
Let Congress leaders, without mixing politics in the bitcoin issue, provide evidence they have, the Home Minister was quoted as saying by his office in a statement.
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Jnanendra also said there was no need to misread Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s Delhi visit in the backdrop of this row, as he had gone there concerning the development of the state and its administrative interest.
“The CM visiting Delhi and meeting leaders is nothing new,” he added.
Bommai was on a two-day visit to the national capital, since Wednesday, during which he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union Ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP National President J P Nadda.
There has been speculation for some time now about involvement of politically influential people in the scam after CCB officials seized bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore from a city-based hacker, Srikrishna alias Sriki, who is also accused of hacking into government portals, sourcing drugs through the dark net, and paying for it through cryptocurrency.
While Congress leaders alleging involvement of senior BJP leaders, their family members and senior officials in the scam, have accused the government of trying to cover up, the ruling party too in its counter has alleged involvement of leaders from the grand old party.
Congress leader and MLA Priyank Kharge on Wednesday had even claimed that the bitcoin scam will cost Chief Minister Bommai his job and the BJP government will see a third CM this time too, as witnessed in 2008-13.
However, according to a statement from CMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during today’s meeting has asked Bommai not to bother about the issue and focus on welfare work for the people of the state.
The gesture reflects the solid support from the Prime Minister for Bommai’s leadership, it said.
Meanwhile, continuing his attack on the BJP government regarding the bitcoin scam, state Congress President D K Shivakumar claimed that he has certain information and at the appropriate time he will speak about it.
“Someone is involved and an attempt is on to fix someone else. If they (BJP govt) know Congress people are involved, why are they delaying the arrest….they are trying to link some old drug case, to fix Congress leaders and their family members, to cause damage to the party. No one can cause damage to Congress,” he said.
Urging the government to place the facts of the case and names of those involved before the people, Shivakumar said certain names and details are being selectively leaked to the media, by those in power, to protect some one.
On the bitcoin issue, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said according to information that he has got, the accused has hacked into Jan Dhan accounts and transferred Rs 2 from each account, amounting to about Rs 6,000 crore, and that’s the reason why PM Modi might have taken this case seriously, resulting in things coming out slowly.
Noting that there are too many speculations regarding involvement of senior police officers and politicians in the bitcoin scam, he also said that there are serious doubts about attempts of cover up.
Seeking to know who is working in favour of the main accused Sriki, in getting him a bail, he alleged attempts to protect some one.