BJP seeks resignation of Karnataka minister following seizure of cash from PA
The alleged seizure of a large amount of cash from a clerk in the office of Karnataka minister for backward classes welfare C Puttarangashetty snowballed into a major controversy Saturday with the BJP and a senior leader of ruling coalition partner JD(S) demanding the resignation of the Congress minister. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said an investigation was on and a decision will be taken once a detailed report comes out.
Mounting an attack on the ruling Congress-JDS coalition government, the BJP demanded that the minister step down following the seizure of cash from the clerk in the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, Friday night. "Yesterday the police seized Rs 25.76 lakh from Puttarangashetty's PA at Vidhana Soudha. The cover bore the name of Minister Puttarangashetty. "He must resign immediately and the matter should be thoroughly investigated," BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said in Shivamogga.
Taking a jibe at the state government, BJP general secretary and party spokesperson N Ravi Kumar wondered "how much money other ministers would be making if the daily collection of a minister is Rs 25.76 lakh". JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti too demanded that the minister resign on moral grounds. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said investigations were on and accordingly action would be taken against the accused. "With regard to the investigation, police will take their own decision. I am not the one to misuse power and influence investigation. We will take a decision when a detailed report comes out after a transparent investigation," he said.
Former chief minister and state congress leader Siddaramaiah said investigation has to be carried out to find out how the accused got such a huge amount of cash. A case has to be registered, he said. According to police, the clerk Mohan was intercepted when he was taking the cash inside Vidhana Soudha and was later arrested. The clerk could not give any satisfactory reply to the queries on the source of the money and the motive behind taking it inside the state secretariat, they said. Puttarangashetty had said he has no clue about the cash and that he was not in the office when the person was caught.
(With inputs from agencies.)