Bengaluru: Congress Karnataka unit president D K Shivakumar on Tuesday alleged that the state Higher Education Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan met senior Congress MLA M B Patil seeking ‘protection’ against raising issues involving him on a public platform.
However, both Patil and Ashwath Narayan rubbished the charge saying there was no truth in it.
”Ashwath Narayan met M B Patil seeking protection that the Congress party should not do anything against him. When they were asked, they said it was a private meeting, since he (Patil) runs educational institutions. Patil said he went there (to meet Narayan) for advice,” Shivakumar said.
Alleging that there was rampant corruption in the state where there is a rate chart mentioned for a designated post in government service, Shivakumar dared the government to issue notice to the newspapers, which ran the story following the police sub-inspector recruitment scam.
Alleging that nothing moves without bribe in this government, the Congress leader, who is an MLA from the Kanakapura constituency, said his party will release the list of scams that have taken place in the state.
To buttress his point, he alleged that the order was altered in the Malleswaram constituency, which is represented by Narayan in the Karnataka Assembly, to favour a woman.
”Take for example, the Police Sub-Inspector scam. In the Malleswaram constituency, the order was altered to help a woman candidate regarding in-service candidate. Only to help a woman, they (government) made double order without a notification,” the Congress state chief charged.
Patil brushed aside the charge made by his party’s state chief.
”I did not meet Ashwath Narayan in the recent past. There is no question of him coming to my house but it also not the case that he should not meet me. Ashwath Narayan’s daughter and my son are classmates who studied in the same school,” Patil, who is Congress Karnataka unit publicity committee chief told reporters.
Reacting to his own party state chief’s allegation, Patil said Narayan is the Higher Education Minister and that he can meet him ”regarding works related to engineering or for MBA related works.” Discarding the charge, Patil, a former minister, asked reporters to check with Narayan whether they met in the recent past.
Narayan too dismissed Shivakumar’s statement as a lie.
”There is no truth in it. I did not meet Patil,” Narayan said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he has no knowledge about any meeting between Patil and Narayan.
”I don’t know. It’s quite common to meet people, for which there is no need to give too much of importance. It is an internal matter between M B Patil, D K Shivakumar and the Congress party. Anyway, after returning to Bengaluru I will speak to Ashwath Narayan about it,” Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.
For the past few days, Shivakumar had been targeting Ashwath Narayan. He had even accused that Narayan had allegedly influenced the criminal investigation department’s probe into the PSI scam and helped an accused get away without any arrest.
Besides being the higher education minister, Narayan is also the district in-charge minister of Ramanagara. During a public meeting last year, Narayan and Shivakumar’s brother D K Suresh, who is the Bengaluru (Rural) MP, almost came to blows.
Congress insiders said Shivakumar is not in good terms with Patil as well.