PM asked me not to worry about Bitcoin case, Bommai after meeting Modi
Bommai invited Modi to inaugurate the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) University building on Bengaluru University campus, 180 industrial training institutes and other development works in the city.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed to him not to worry about the Bitcoin scandal and instead focus on developmental work in the state.
“When I tried to speak to him about the issue, he (PM) said don’t break your head over it. You (Bommai) work honestly and with dedication for the people and everything will be alright,” Bommai said, sharing what Modi had told the chief minister.
The statements come even as the allegations and counter allegations over the Bitcoin scandal continue to rage on in the southern state where the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have locked horns over the alleged irregularities.
Bommai had met the PM on Thursday after the chief minister made a surprise visit to the capital on Wednesday afternoon.
There have been at least three letters written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) by various individuals and some anonymously, adding to speculation that the complaints were being made from within the party.
However, the letters could not be independently verified.
The mode of writing anonymous letters from within the BJP to the party high command is not unusual as former chief minister BS Yediyurappa was at the receiving end of such complaints during his turbulent tenure between 2019 and July 2021.
The letter, that has gone viral on social media, has been written by a Sachin Mamane who names Congress MLA, NA Harris, and his two sons, Loganath, an influential businessman from Bengaluru, revenue minister R Ashok and several others who are allegedly part of a huge Bitcoin racket to launder ill-gotten money. The veracity of this letter could not be verified independently.
Congress state president DK Shivakumar on Thursday said that if the BJP did not have anything to hide, why is the party not raising the issue that the names of officials and even Congress legislators are mentioned in the letter.
“They (BJP and Bommai) are speaking on specific points but are leaving out most of the details,” Shivakumar said.
He added that he is not sure of the letter or its contents but the entire episode must be investigated.
The BJP has called the Congress ‘fabricators’ misleading the people over the alleged scam.
A hacker named Srikrishna or Sriki is at the heart of the entire scandal.
Bommai had earlier said that Sriki had been arrested in a drug-related case in 2018 when Siddaramaiah was the chief minister, hinting that the latter was involved in the case and trying to deflect the issue by smearing the name of the former.
Siddaramaiah said that he had not mentioned Bommai’s name anywhere but the evasive behaviour of the chief minister was raising suspicion.
Narayanswamy of the BJP on Thursday said that Siddaramaiah was trying to build the entire case on lies.
“There have been several sessions of the legislature. They do not have the capability to present even a shred of evidence in the house,” Narayanswamy said.
Bommai said he met home minister Amit Shah on Thursday. Whether Shah asked about the cryptocurrency case, he said, “I could not discuss much with him as the interaction was brief. The issue of Bitcoin did not come up during the interaction. The home minister has all the central agencies and would have all the information regarding the issue.”