From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Chikkaballapur, Jan 24: Lashing out at Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar for his corruption charges against him, Congress opposition leader Siddaramaiah has termed as ‘the most corrupt minister’ in BJP and said he regrets giving him the party ticket from Chikkaballapur in 2013 assembly polls.
In a point by point rebuttal of the charges levelled against him by Dr Sudhakar and Higher Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, the former Congress Chief Minister refuted the allegations levelled by the two ministers and also the charges against former Congress Urban Development Minister K J George of corruption in the white topping of roads in Bengaluru and challenged them why the BJP government did not do anything during the last three and half years when they were in power.
On the accusation that the term ‘redo’ was used by the Congress government to make money in the white topping issue, Siddaramaiah said the term was used by State High Court in its judgement and not by the government. Similarly, the charge that CAG report had indicted the Congress government for corruption as nothing but ‘devil quoting the scripture’ as the minister himself was the most corrupt person.
Siddaramaiah said the former Chief Minister N Veerappa Moily had strongly opposed the candidature of Anjnappa from Chikkaballapur from the Congress. “I and Dr G Parameshwar, who was the KPCC Chief at the time, were instrumental in selecting Dr Sudhakar. Now, we are compelled to regret the decision,’’ he said pointing out that Dr Sudhakar had no problem with Congress when he was MLA in 2003 and 2018 and defected to BJP for his ambitions.
The Congress leader said he had raised the issue of corruption in the legislature under Dr Sudhakar during the Covid pandemic period. “I had openly mentioned with documentary proof that he (Dr Sudhakar) had looted Rs 2,000 crore in the purchases of masks, ventilators, beds and oxygen cylinders. The then Chief Minister did not reply and Sudhakar confirmed my documents but refused to accept the charge, and evaded giving a reply. That is the kind of person, he is.’’
“In Chamarajanagar, when 36 persons had died due to non-availability of oxygen in government hospital, Dr Sudhakar and S Suresh Kumar, who was the district in charge minister, had uttered lies by stating that only 3 persons had died due to non-availability of oxygen. If oxygen was made available, those 36 persons could have been saved. The corruption and irresponsibility of BJP is responsible for the deaths of 36 persons. When we visited the hospitals later, the doctors admitted that 36 persons had died. This Sudhakar did not bother to visit even the houses of the deceased persons and no compensation was paid. I have raised this issue in the legislature,’’ he said asking: “Whether this person deserves to be Health Minister when 4.5 lakh persons died due to Corona pandemic in the State.’’
Siddaramaiah disclosed that he and senior leaders of the party held midnight discussions with Dr Sudhakar against joining BJP as part of ‘operation kamala’ and he agreed and even promised not to leave the party. “But by morning he jumped over to BJP. Such a persons is now talking about political values,’’ he ridiculed.
The former Chief Minister challenged the ruling BJP, which has been talking about the corruption during the Congress rule, to constitute a judicial probe headed by a Supreme Court judge into all the alleged irregularities during the Congress rule and the corruption, commission as well as recruitment scams during the BJP rule.
“We are ready if a judicial probe is ordered into the Congress and BJP rule. But flogging a dead corpse over corruption in the past while ignoring what is happening under this corrupt government is shameful,’’ he said.
To the charges by Dr Sudhakar and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on closing down Lokayukta, Siddaramaiah said the Congress government had merely constituted the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Lokayukta was there. “We did not close down the Lokayukta. Now the High Court has ordered disbanding ACB. But the same ACB system is existing in several BJP ruled states. We demand an answer from Dr Sudhakar on this dichotomy,’’ he said.
Siddaramaiah attacked Dr Sudhakar for remaining silent when he was Congress MLA from 2013 if the Congress government was guilty of corruption. “Why did he not open his mouth then and speak about the corruption? Why Bommai, who was in opposition, remained silent? After remaining silent for all these years, will the people believe about their charges now,’’ he said and demanded all the corruption charges against the BJP government, commission and the irregularities in the health department during the Corona pandemic period must be referred to a judicial probe by Supreme Court judge.
The Congress leader also claimed that Dr Sudhakar had spent crores of rupees in the by-election after the Operation Kamala to get elected. “What our senior leader Moily had said about him is true. Sudhakar is most corrupt and a fraud. He is demanding bribes from those operating crushers and quarries every month. We regret giving him ticket. The people of Chikkaballapur will send him home,’’ he said.
Siddaramaiah challenged the chief minister, BJP ministers and leaders for a public debate on any issue if they have courage to face the truth.