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BJP ticket aspirant paid money to central leaders, alleges HDK

At press meet, former Chief Minister also says woman in CD scandal should end controversy by disclosing names of instigators

Without mentioning anybody’s name, former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy has alleged that a BJP functionary in the State had paid a huge amount of money to his party’s national leaders to get the party’s ticket for the Basavakalyan Assembly segment.

“I know how the ruling BJP is going for by-elections on the might of money. A BJP ticket aspirant who had looted the State’s resources and exploited the people has paid a huge amount of money to his central leaders to get the party’s ticket for Basavakalyan segment,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said. He was addressing a media conference in Kalaburagi on Thursday.

Asked about the disruption of the Assembly session over the CD row involving former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and recent remarks by Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, the former Chief Minister said that neither the Congress nor the BJP was interested in discussing the burning issues of the people. He also suggested that the victim in the CD appear before the Speaker and end the controversy by disclosing the names of the people who were behind the sex scandal episode.

“It is clear that the woman in the CD is used for a larger conspiracy. She should appear before the Assembly Speaker and tell him who instigated her to do all this. There is no use of going for a judicial enquiry into the sex scandal. We better discuss people’s issues,” he said.

Hitting out at Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who justified the huge borrowings by stating that he did not take loans for “consuming ghee”, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that appointing heads to 108 State-owned Boards and Corporations and offering them a status of Cabinet Minister spending a lot of money essentially meant “consuming ghee” at the hard time when the State was facing financial crisis thanks to COVID-19.

Speaking on his party’s strength in the Basavakalyan constituency, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that his governance as Chief Minister in the Congress-JD(S) collation government and the strong presence of party cadres would ensure the victory of his party candidate.

“I had allocated ₹75 crore to Basavakalyan for various irrigation projects and Mr. Yediyurappa who assumed power after me diverted the funds to other projects. There are 10,000 farmers in the constituency whose farm loans in nationalised banks were waived and 15,000 more farmers whose loans in cooperative banks were waived. These pro-people initiatives coupled with the strong presence of cadres would ensure the victory of party candidate in the by-election,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said. On the selection of a Muslim candidate for fielding on the party ticket, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that it was an answer to Congress leaders who had been publicly attacking JD(S) branding it “anti-minority.”

‘Where have one lakh LPG stoves gone?’

“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana for offering concessional LPG connections to Below Poverty Line families in rural India, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, announced a similar programme to counter Mr. Modi and bought one lakh LPG stoves. When I became the Chief Minister after him, I approached the Centre seeking concessional LPG connections for the poor in the State so that the stoves could be distributed among the beneficiaries. But, the Union government did not give permission for that many connections. The BJP government should tell us where the LPG stoves have gone,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

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