Valmiki Corporation scam: Will talk to SIT, Cabinet colleagues on removing Minister, says CM

02:20 PM Jun 06, 2024 | PTI |

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said he will take a decision on seeking the resignation of Minister B Nagendra, following allegations against him in connection with an illegal money transfer case, after talking to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the multi-crore scam, and discussing with senior Cabinet colleagues.


Seeking to mount pressure on the Congress government, the opposition BJP staged a protest march from ‘Vidhana Soudha’ to Raj Bhavan and petitioned Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot demanding the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Minister’s resignation.

The illegal money transfer issue, involving Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation Ltd, came to light, after its accounts superintendent, Chandrashekhar P, died by suicide on May 26, leaving behind a death note.

The note revealed the unauthorised transfer of Rs 187 crore belonging to the state-run Corporation from its bank account, and from that, Rs 88.62 crore was illegally moved to various accounts allegedly belonging to “well-known” IT companies and a Hyderabad-based cooperative bank.

Chandrashekhar has named the Corporation’s now-suspended Managing Director J G Padmanabh, accounts officer Parashuram G Durugannavar, and Union Bank of India Chief Manager Suchismita Rawal in the note, while also stating that the “Minister” had issued oral orders for transferring the funds.


Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who is also the state Congress President, are said to have held a meeting after news broke about the CBI filing an FIR based on a complaint filed by the Union Bank of India, sources said. They reportedly summoned Nagendra and explained the circumstances and asked him to step down, and also assured him that he would be reinstated if his name was cleared from the charges.

“SIT has been formed regarding what has happened in the Valmiki Development Corporation according to the death note. After talking to SIT, I will take a decision,” Siddaramaiah said in response to a question on whether he has sought Nagendra’s resignation

“We have formed the SIT, SIT is conducting the probe, we are getting it done at a fast pace. We will think about it with senior Ministers.”

Asked whether he spoke to Nagendra, the CM said, “I have spoken to him, does just speaking to him mean I have sought his resignation?”

Mumbai-headquartered Union Bank of India last week filed a formal complaint with the CBI in connection with embezzlement of money belonging to the Corporation involving its MG Road branch. It had also suspended three officials.

The Corporation had filed an FIR against top Union Bank of India officials with the police, over embezzlement of Rs 88 crore.

The CBI has taken up a probe into the case, Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Wednesday, while adding that the Cabinet will take a call on handing over to the CBI investigation covering the state government departments linked to the case, once it gets a formal request from the central agency.

The state government last week constituted an SIT headed by Manish Kharbikar, Additional Director General of Police, Economic Offences, at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) here, to conduct the probe.


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