BJP seeks CBI probe into 40% commission charges
BJP has demanded an investigation by CB) into allegations made by Karnataka State Contractors Association regarding a 40% commission charge
Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into allegations made by the president of Karnataka State Contractors Association, D Kempanna, regarding a 40% commission charge.
The leader of the opposition in the Karanataka assembly R Ashok said, considering the gravity of Kempanna’s allegations, Siddaramaiah doesn’t have the moral authority to remain in office and should resign.
“What are they (Congress) going to do now… ₹50 crore each was seized when the I-T department had conducted raids on the residences of two Congress leaders…What mask will the CM wear now? He has no moral authority to remain in the office for a moment longer,” he said while addressing the press on Sunday.
Ashok reminded that the Congress party vehemently protested similar allegations during the tenure of the BJP government. He asked whether Siddaramaiah would paste ATM Siddaramaiah posters now as he had done with former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai by pasting PayCM posters.
He said the developers and builders are claiming that a commission of ₹75/sq feet is being collected by them and challenged Siddaramaiah to take action against corrupt practices within his administration. He suggested that failure to do so would warrant public condemnation akin to what the BJP faced in the past.
The opposition leader highlighted that Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has released a White Paper assessing both the 10-year tenure of the Modi government and the 10-year governance of the Congress-led United Province Alliance (UPA) regime.
“If the White Paper is wrong, let the Congress move a privilege motion against Sitharaman in parliament,’’ he challenged.
The statement comes after the controversy surrounding the alleged 40% commission demanded for processing government contracts has once again come to the forefront. Kempanna has accused some government officials of continuing the practice.
Kempanna had previously made similar allegations during the tenure of the BJP government, asserting that contractors were required to pay a hefty kickback to secure tenders and expedite bill clearances across various departments.
However, on Friday, Kempanna said, that despite a government change, a few government officers are still harassing the contractors who take up government contracts in the name of kickbacks.
“Earlier in the BJP government, MLAs and MPs used to demand kickbacks from contractors who take up government projects. In this government, MLAs and MPs refrain from demanding commission, but a few government officials are still harassing the contractors. The corruption has not stopped, and the contractors are still paying 40% commissions to the officials,” he said.
He also requested the Congress-led government to handle such officers to avoid a bad name for itself.
“The government must keep an eye out on corrupt officials. They are part of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Public Works Department (PWD), the Irrigation Department and others. Because of them, the government might get a bad name in the public,” he added.
During the election campaigning, Congress raised the issue of a “40% commission” to target the BJP government. Anti-incumbency was the biggest thrust of their campaign.
In response to the renewed allegations, Siddaramaiah said, the government is committed to investigating such claims through the Nagamohan Das Commission and has asked the contractors’ association to furnish evidence for a thorough investigation.
“We have formed the Nagmohan Das Commission to probe allegations of 40% commission. So, let them (the association) provide the documents to them. Nagamohan Das is a retired high court judge. They are saying officers are asking for a commission. They should give the names,” added the CM.
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