BJP alleges involvement of Karnataka Medical Education Minister in scam, demands resignations

Saffron party wants CM, minister to resign; Minister denies allegation, says he wasn’t in his Soudha office on May 24
Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil.
Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil.

BENGALURU : After B Nagendra resigned as tribal welfare minister over an alleged Rs 187.33 crore scam at the Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation (MVSTDC), opposition BJP is alleging the involvement of Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil and MVSTDC chairman Basanagouda Daddal too in the scam.

BJP is demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Patil and that the case be handed over to the CBI. BJP said G Parashurama Durgannanavar, former accounts officer with MVSTDC, who is an accused, has claimed in his affidavit that a conspiracy was hatched at Patil’s office on May 24 to destroy evidence related to the case.

Parashuram stated that he was falsely implicated in the case to shield the real culprits as the SIT investigation is going in the wrong direction. He pleaded that the court get the copy of the telephonic conversation between him and Daddal, seized by SIT, before it gets destroyed. The court should take into account the CCTV footage at the minister’s office and on the premises of Union Bank of India, he pleaded.

Patil said that he was not at his office in Vikasa Soudha on May 24 as Lok Sabha election model code of conduct was in force. “It has been accused that I held a meeting with Daddal and others at my Vikasa Soudha office on May 24 and destroyed  evidence. I had not gone to my office that day. I am ready to face any probe,” he said.

“Neither me nor the government is aware of any statement of the arrested accused. Let them check the CCTV footage and see if there was any meeting. I’ve nothing to do with this case. There is no question of me resigning,” he said. “As a minister, I meet people who come from different parts of the state. How can I check antecedents of each person,” he asked.

Daddal too denied charges against him. “After becoming MVSTDC chairman, the Lok Sabha election code of conduct was in force. If the opposition has any proof, it should be given to the investigating agency and truth will come out. Till then, the opposition should stop making false accusations against me,” he said.

Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara said, “When the investigation is going on, there are cross-references. Patil is not guilty just because of that or because BJP is making accusations against him. SIT will review all aspects and it is not right to comment when the investigation is on.”

Chief Whip of BJP in the Council N Ravikumar demanded the resignation of Daddal and Patil. Siddaramaiah too should resign taking moral responsibility, he added.

“The evidence is surfacing in the case of Dalit money looting. We smell corruption in different departments. Efforts are being made to collect evidence,” he warned.

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