BENGALURU: A day after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of raising funds from the gambling, lottery and real estate mafia to bribe MLAs of the JD(S)-Congress coalition, the saffron party hit back challenging him to prove the charges. Three legislators of the BJP held a press conference on Saturday and flayed Kumaraswamy, calling him a “hit-and-run” chief minister for making false allegations time and again without proving any.
Legislative Council member Ayanur Manjunath asked Kumaraswamy to prove the allegations or resign from his post. MLC N Ravikumar and MLA M P Renukacharya pointed out that Gandhinagar, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao’s constituency, was the den of gambling
mafia that the Chief Minister referred to.
“You are the Chief Minister. You have all the power and the agencies under you. What stops you from ordering an inquiry if all of these mafias exist? Aren’t you embarrassed to acknowledge that mafia is running amok under your chief ministership?” asked Ravikumar. Defending the BJP against the allegation that it is indulging in horse trading, the legislators said the saffron party had never made a claim of having the support of Congress or JD(S) MLAs, but the coalition partners themselves had been giving out numbers. “They claim to have 10 BJP MLAs ready to join them.
We have made no such claims. Yet, they accuse BJP of attempting to lure their MLAs. The confusion in the government is the coalition’s own doing and our party has nothing to do with it,” said Manjunath. Reacting sharply to the BJP’s references of gambling mafia flourishing in his constituency, Dinesh Gundu Rao said kingpins of all mafias are in South Bengaluru.
“The BJP is bent upon getting everything done with money. They want to take over the the BBMP as well as the government using money power. They have already started threatening independent corporators of the BBMP,” Rao said after holding a meeting with independent corporators in the run-up to the BBMP mayoral polls.