BENGALURU: The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state suffered a huge setback on Thursday after CBI named Bengaluru Development Minister K J George as accused No.1 in its FIR in the alleged suicide case of Deputy Superintendent of Police M K Ganapathy.
The case has returned to haunt George who was forced to quit as home minister in July 2016 after Ganapathy’s death following an FIR by the state police. He was reinducted into the cabinet two months later as Bengaluru development minister following a clean chit from the CID which probed the case.
The axe is expected to fall again on George as his continuance in the ministry could prove untenable for the ruling Congress ahead of the Assembly election in the state. BJP has demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sack George immediately, failing which it will launch a state-wide agitation from Friday. However, George rejected the demand, saying, “If I had to resign everytime they demand, by now I would have resigned 100 times.”
Soon after the FIR became public, Siddaramaiah went into a huddle with senior ministers D K Shivakumar, Ramesh Kumar, H C Mahadevappa and others, including George, on Thursday. He also apprised AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi of the developments.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue, Siddaramaiah is treading cautiously. After the meeting, the Chief Minister said, “I have come to know about the CBI FIR just now. I am getting full details of the case and will react on the issue tomorrow.” When asked whether George would be asked to quit, Siddaramaiah shot back: “FIR had been filed against B S Yeddyurappa too.”
According to party sources, George is likely to go out as the party is inclined to follow the precedent it had set earlier by asking him to quit immediately after the state police filed an FIR. Ganapathy, who was posted at IG office in Mangaluru, had died on July 7, 2016, under mysterious circumstances in a lodge in Madikeri but hours before his death, he had accused George and two senior police officers of harassment in a TV interview.
The police officers Pronab Mohanty, Additional Deputy Director General of UIDAI, and AM Prasad, DGP Intelligence, have been named by CBI as accused No. 2 and No.3 respectively. At that time, Mohanty was IGP Lokayukta while Prasad was ADGP (State Intelligence).
CASE SO FAR
July 7, 2016: DySP MK Ganapathy found dead. Hours before his death in a TV interview, he accuses George and two senior police officials of harassment
July 8: CM orders CID probe
July 18: On Madikeri court order, police file FIR against George, 2 others; George quits as home minister
Sept 17: CID gives clean chit to George, he joins cabinet in Sept
Sept 5, 2017: SC directs the CBI to investigate Ganapathy’s death