Bengaluru: Questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on corruption in Karnataka, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday sought to know how much each engine of the ”double-engine government” got from the ”40 per cent commission” in the state.
He also accused the Prime Minister of disqualifying him as MP for raising the Adani issue in Parliament.
”For the last three years, there is a BJP government in Karnataka and the Prime Minister is aware of corruption here. You only call it a ‘double engine government’. This time, the double engine is stolen,” Gandhi said at a public meeting in Anekal near here in poll-bound Karnataka.
”Modiji, please tell the people of Karnataka, which engine got how much out of 40 per cent commission,” he asked the Prime Minister.
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Dwelling further, he said the contractors’ association in Karnataka wrote to the Prime Minister that 40 per cent commission was charged from them but Modi did not reply.
Stating that there were scams upon scams, he said large-scale irregularities took place in the recruitment of police sub-inspectors, assistant professors, assistant engineers and in the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited which manufactures the renowned Mysore Sandal Soap.
In the Mysore Sandal scam, an MLA’s son was caught with Rs 8 crore cash and a BJP MLA said the Chief Minister’s post can be bought by paying Rs 2,500 crore, the Congress leader said.
”Even a six-year-old child is aware of the corruption that has taken place here in Karnataka,” Gandhi said.
The former Congress president said the Prime Minister comes and says that the Congress abused him 91 times but he should first tell Karnataka what he did to check corruption, what inquiry was conducted and how many people were jailed.
”Everyone knows that there is a double-engine government here. If theft has taken place in Karnataka, then Delhi must have been benefitted. Otherwise, the Prime Minister would have done something for Karnataka government,” he added.
Gandhi complained that he had asked Modi about his relation with businessman Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, in Parliament, after which his membership was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
”I raised the question of corruption and I was removed from Parliament. The Prime Minister does not act against those who indulge in corruption,” he alleged.
A local court in Gujarat’s Surat sentenced Gandhi in March to two years in jail after convicting him for criminal defamation in a case regarding the ‘Modi surname’ remark made by the Congress leader back in 2019. A day later, he was disqualified from Parliament. The Gujarat High Court has reserved its verdict on the case after Gandhi moved the court for an appeal.
The former MP said three years ago, the government that came to power in Karnataka was a ”stolen one”. ”Your government was stolen three years ago. You chose someone and you got someone else as the MLAs were bought. The government that came by theft, will do theft. It does not know anything other than theft,” the Congress leader said.
He was referring to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2019 within 14 months of its formation after 16 MLAs were disqualified for switching sides. This way, the BJP which was the single-largest party came to power in 2019. Most of those who resigned fought the 2019 bypolls on BJP ticket and became ministers.
Wondering why Prime Minister Modi never spells out the name of other BJP leaders and never takes them in the vehicle during roadshows, Gandhi opined there could be two possibilities.
”Probably, he does not want anyone else to be visible other than him. The other possibility is that Narendra Modi knows that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor B S Yediyurappa are absolutely corrupt and he wants to hide them from you,” Gandhi alleged.
Speaking about the burning situation in Manipur where over 50 people have died due to ethnic violence, he said people are being killed but the Prime Minister or Union Home Minister Amit Shah have no concern for it.
”Manipur violence is the outcome of hatred. Our Bharat Jodo Yatra was against this hatred,” the Congress leader asserted.
Karnataka goes to the polls on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13.