Bengaluru | Under attack from opposition BJP over the alleged suicide of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today hit back at the rival party, rejecting its demand for a probe into the case that led to the exit of K J George as a minister, and questioning continuance of central ministers facing FIRs. In a counter-offensive against the Opposition a day after George quit voluntarily, Siddaramaiah sought to turn the tables on BJP, saying several Union ministers were facing FIRs and criminal cases but why have they not resigned?.
He said Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya, Smriti Irani and Uma Bharti were facing FIRs and seven of the newly inducted 19 Union ministers had criminal cases registered against them but BJP was silent on this and singling out George, who resigned hours after a court ordered registration of FIR against him and two police officials over the DySP suicide. He said that mere filing of an FIR does not warrant action but still George stepped down as a loyal soldier of the party, saying he did not want to embarass Congress, the Chief Minister and the government.
Let them (BJP) get the resignations of Dattatreya, Smriti Irani and seven ministers facing criminal cases. Is there a separate law for us and them? he told reporters here. George resigned yesterday shortly after a court at Madikeri in Kodagu district directed police to register an FIR against him and two top police officers in connection with alleged suicide of 51-year old M K Ganapathy.
The body of Mangaluru DySP Ganapathy was found hanging from the ceiling fan in a room at a lodge in Madikeri on July 7. Hours before his death, in an interview to a local TV channel, he had said George and A M Prasad (IG-Intelligence) and Pranab Mohanty (IGP-Lokayukta) were harassing him and they would be responsible if anything happens to me. Accusing BJP of moral bankruptcy, Siddaramaiah said Congress would expose their true colours and false propaganda with statewide party programmes. I have accepted George’s resignation with pain. We have not taken his resignation.
He himself resigned voluntarily, he said, adding, his ministerial colleagues had advised him (George) against stepping down. Siddaramaiah said Prasad and Mohanty were asked to go on leave as was being speculated. Lashing out at BJP for persisting with its demand for a CBI probe, he said there is no need to hand over the case to CBI. A judicial commission has already been formed. The matter has also gone to the court…So no need to refer the matter to CBI.
Siddaramiah said the government had no disrespect for CBI and is also not afraid of it. It has faith in the investigation agency unlike BJP which has belittled it when in power in the state and refused to refer even one single case to it, he said. He said his government had referred eight cases to CBI under the NDA government.
Siddaramaiah said BJP was portraying itself as honest but its leaders themselves were facing multiple cases, including B S Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa. Hitting out at JDS, he said: Doesn’t (H D) Kumaraswamy have criminal cases. His wife is also facing a criminal case. They (both BJP and JDS) should instrospect. Those living in glass houses should not pelt others with stones. Siddaramaiah also dismissed Kumaraswamy’s charge that the Chief Minister was facing five cases, which he had not disclosed in the election affidavit.
He said all the five cases registered during his fight for public cause were closed in 2008 itself.Siddaramaiah flayed BJP and JDS for using the suicide of Ganapathy as a political tool. Quoting National Crime Records Bureau statistics, he said 122 police officials had committed suicide from 2003 to 2013 in Karnataka under the governments of JDS’ H D Kumaraswamy and BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar.
Karnataka Home Minister and KPCC President G Parameshwara said Congress would expose the false propoganda and politics of BJP and JDS through its statewide programme involving, MPs, MLAs and local leaders. We will not let them off the hook so easily, he said.
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