Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa has returned an SUV, allegedly worth around Rs 1 crore, gifted to him by former industries minister Murugesh Nirani after a controversy erupted over the vehicle.
The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado provided by sugar baron Nirani has hit the headlines after reports that the seven-seater luxury vehicle would be used by Yeddyurappa to travel around the drought-hit parts of the state.
In a statement, Yeddyurappa said in his 40-year career he has used all modes of public transport, including cars, to cover all parts of Karnataka.
“Handling the same state tour in the same manner is not an issue at all for me. Hence I have sent back the car provided by Murugesh Nirani...,” he said.
When asked why he was using this car to travel across drought-hit Karnataka, Yeddyurappa said these two things should not be compared.
The BJP has announced that Yeddyurappa would be touring the drought-hit areas in the districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur and Vijayapura from April 27 to May 1.
The former Karnataka chief minister had recently assumed charge as the state BJP president.
Yeddyurappa was forced to resign as chief ninister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form his own outfit, Karnataka Janata Party. It failed to make a mark except to cause damage to the BJP in the 2013 polls.
He returned to the BJP following the announcement of Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
A combative leader who is projected as pro-farmers, Yeddyurappa has set a target of winning 150 of the 224 assembly seats in the 2018 polls.
The controversy comes close on the heels of chief minister Siddaramaiah landing in a row over a gifted Rs 70 lakh diamond-studded Hublot watch that he wore before he handed it over to the state in the wake of a political storm over it.