The list of Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders being probed is growing with investigations now beginning against speaker of the state assembly KG Bopaiah over funds misuse.
Police attached to the office of the Lokayukta (ombudsman) Thursday registered an FIR (first information report), marking the start of a formal probe, against Bopaiah at Madikeri, the main town of Kodagu district, about 250 km from Bangalore.
Bopaiah hails from Kodagu and is alleged to have misused Rs 40 lakh meant for development of a lake in the district in 2006-07. Bopaiah is from Virajpet constituency in the district.
Bopaiah is the eighth BJP leader in Karnataka to be investigated by the Lokayukta police. The list is headed by party's first chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who quit July 31 following indictment in the illegal mining scam.
The others include former ministers Katta Subramanya Naidu and S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty as well as present ministers R. Ashoka (home), Murugesh Nirani (industries) and V Somanna (housing).
The most controversial BJP leader and former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, a mining baron from Bellary, 300 km north of Bangalore, has been in Hyderabad's Chanchalaguda jail since September 5 in connection with illegal mining case in Andhra Pradesh.
The Lokayukta police registered the FIR against Bopaiah on the directive of the district and sessions judge Ashok Nijagannanavar on a complaint filed by Congress Zilla Parishad (district council) member Saritha Poonacha Dec 2.
Bopaiah is also facing a no-trust motion moved by the Congress on the ground that he has not been impartial in conducting the assembly proceedings. The motion is likely to be discussed in the assembly Dec 14 or 15, according to Bopaiah. The assembly's 12-day winter session began in Bangalore December 5.