Congress demands home minister’s resignation over PSI scam
The Congress has alleged that the state government had attempted to protect some politicians and officials involved in the alleged PSI scam.
A day after the arrest of a senior IPS officer in connection with the police sub-inspector (PSI) recruitment scam, the Congress Karnataka unit on Tuesday demanded chief minister Basavaraj Bommai to sack home minister Araga Jnanendra for “misleading” public and lawmakers in the case.
Additional director general of police (ADGP) Amrit Paul, who was earlier heading the police recruitment cell, was arrested by the criminal investigation department on allegations of facilitating malpractice. The Congress has alleged that the state government had attempted to protect some politicians and officials involved in the alleged scam.
The Congress demanded the immediate sacking of Jnanendra, who allegedly misled the government and the public by denying irregularities in the recruitment process in the state legislature in March 2022.
“In the PSI recruitment scam, the officials should not be blamed. Home minister Araga Jnanendra is responsible for this scam as well as officials. I urge the chief minister to sack home minister from the cabinet,” said leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Siddaramaiah.
“How can an ADGP tamper with OMR sheets of the recruitment exam without orders from higher-ups in the government?” Skeletons are falling out one by one from the shelves. The arrest of ADGP Amrit Paul in the PSI recruitment scam is proof of this. What will now CM and the home minister will do who said that there was no scandal?” he said.
KPCC president DK Shivakumar, in a series of tweets, said: “A dark day for Karnataka as for the first time an ADGP level officer has been arrested on corruption charges in PSI exams. All this happening under BJP govt shows how it’s destroying the future of our youth through such scams.”
“Karnataka has become BJP’s breeding ground for corruption, and that’s why the state govt is misusing the machinery to hide its corruption-related activities. Not just PSI exams, every exam and recruitment drive has been turned into a scam by the state govt.”
Responding to the allegations, Bommai said the government conducted a preliminary investigation into the PSI recruitment case immediately on coming to know about irregularities and handed it over to the CID. The home minister has discharged his duty honestly and efficiently. “It is only because of his honesty and efficiency that the irregularities have been exposed. The Congress has no moral right to demand the home minister’s resignation,” Bommai said.
Speaking to media persons, he said the PSI test question paper had leaked during the Congress regime. “The case was registered and a senior police officer was found to be the accused. What happened later? Forget about arresting him, they did not bother even to question him. We have given a free hand to the officers to conduct a thorough investigation. We have zero-tolerance for such irregularities. We are working to cleanse the system whether it is the top officers or lower rung personnel, we will get to the bottom of the case. If Congress were in power, they would have buried the case. They have done it in the past. They have no moral right to demand the resignation of anyone,” Bommai said.
He said about 50 persons have been arrested in connection with the case. Of this, about 20 are police officers. “We have not tried to cover up anything or protect anyone. There is no question of anyone quitting. The investigation has gone so deep only because of the honesty of the home minister,” Bommai said.
Reacting to Shivakumar’s statement that the home minister had misled the legislature and hence he should resign, Bommai said not much information was available on the case then. “What he did after getting the information and how efficient he was in exposing the irregularities is what matters. The case would not have come out if the government was not keen to investigate it. The CID and ACB have done a good job.”
The CID has arrested over 60 persons, including the topper of the PSI recruitment exam, who were allegedly using middlemen and officials to get the OMR sheets filled up after the exam. In April 2022, in the backdrop of alleged malpractices in the PSI recruitment examination, the government cancelled the results.