Karnataka Congress holds protest demanding MLA's arrest after Lokayukta raid
Several Congress leaders including former CM Siddaramaiah, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Priyank Kharge and others staged a protest demanding the arrest of BJP MLA Maadal Virupakshappa, whose son was caught taking a bribe of ₹40 lakh after a Lokayukta raid on Thursday.
The Karnataka Congress on Saturday staged a massive protest against the ruling BJP government, demanding the arrest of BJP MLA Maadal Virupakshappa, whose son was caught taking a bribe of ₹40 lakh after a Lokayukta raid on Thursday. Several leaders were detained by the police, who were deployed in large numbers to control the crowd.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed commotion as Congress workers shouted slogans such as “down down BJP”. Police officials were also seen detaining former chief minister and leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah, and other prominent leaders such as Randeep Singh Surjewala.
READ | Karnataka: Lokayukta catches BJP MLA's son with ₹40 lakh bribe money
Congress stalwart Siddaramaiah spoke to reporters and said, “It is not enough that you arrested Prashanth Kumar. If they have little shame, you should arrest the MLA Madal Virupakshappa immediately. Basavaraj Bommai should resign taking moral responsibility.”
"The CM was lying that their government is corruption free. What is this happening then? Your government is plundering the state. Your ministers, chief minister and the chairman of various boards and corporations have been directed to collect a definite amount. According to me, BJP is set to spend ₹100 crore in each constituency," Siddaramaiah claimed.
The former CM also hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah for slamming the previous Congress government for allegedly using Karnataka as "an ATM for a family". “You called my government an ATM government. Now, Mr Shah what will you say about this? Without any evidences, you make allegations but here we have a solid proof. We don't need to take any lessons from Shah,” he added.
READ | 'Dynastic parties can't work for poor; Cong JD(S) no 1 in corruption': Amit Shah
Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy also spoke to reporters and said, “Scams and corruption are going on in the state but the government asked for evidence, so this is evidence. We are demanding the resignation of CM Bommai."
BJP MLA Virupakshappa had resigned as the chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) after the Lokayukta raided his office and caught his son while allegedly accepting a bribe. Calling it a “conspiracy against his family”, he said he is resigning under moral grounds.
The initial ₹40 lakh found by the Lokayukta officials with the MLA's son Prashanth, was found to be the first instalment of a Rs-81-lakh deal. Further inspection led to the discovery of more than ₹2 crore from the office.
After several raids and searches at the various locations owned by the father-son duo, the Lokayukta found more than ₹6 crore in cash, gold and silver jewellery with ornaments, luxury cars, investment documents and evidence indicating that the MLA owned over 400 acres of land across Karnataka.
(With agency inputs)