Senior BJP leader and Vijayapura city MLA Basanagouda Patil (Yatnal) on Friday said that he was given the offer of being made Karnataka chief minister if “I can cough up ₹2,500 crores”. He also alleged that those who were ready to give Rs 50-100 crore have been offered to make them ministers. Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has strongly attacked BJP on this issue. Surjewala asked whether PM and CM will answer this.
BJP MLA said “There are many thieves in politics who claim they can give you a ticket, take you to Delhi, meet with Sonia Gandhi, (JP) Nadda. Some people from Delhi approached me and said we would make you chief minister if you give ₹2,500 crore”.
Yatnal has been a vocal critic of the state leadership, especially former chief minister BS Yediyurappa and his family. The former Union minister further said that he had pledged to remove Yeddyurappa.
“I don’t know this kind of theatrics, but if I did, then when Yediyurappa was removed, not this time but the last, they (a reference to BJP high command) would have made me chief minister,” Yatnal said.
He added that Yediyurappa thought that “if I make Yatnal a minister, what would happen to my son (BY Vijayendra)”.
“That’s why he trampled me and did none of the work I asked for, kept all the letters (requests) I gave to them aside. I went there and told him this is the last time, and I will never come to your chamber or Cauvery (official residence of the chief minister) till you are a chief minister. Only after bringing you down will I come here. Next, Bommai became chief minister, called me and asked me to come. I said I will since my pledge was fulfilled. Bommai spoke to me for half an hour and told me that I (Bommai) became CM only because of you,” Yatnal said, to thundering applause from the audience.
BJP MLA said, “What is ₹2,500 crore! It is no surprise that Rs 20,000 crore has been spent on the roads of Bengaluru in 5 years.”
Yatnal’s statements have sparked allegations of corruption against the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government. Which is facing charges of soliciting bribes from contractors, job-seekers and others. KS Eshwarappa was forced to resign as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister last month when a Belagavi resident Contractor Santosh K Patil had died. Patil had alleged that the minister was harassing him for paying 40% commission. Ramesh Jarkiholi was also forced to step down last year following allegations of a ‘job-for-sex’ scam.
Now, Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan is accused of corruption in the ongoing Police Sub Inspector Recruitment scam, which is rocking the Bommai government. Congress has become the aggressor. Congress’s national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has sought an answer from BJP on this. Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar has said, “Yatnal has said that if he wants to become the chief minister, he will have to pay ₹2500 crore. To become a minister you have to pay ₹100 crore. All rates have been fixed for Sub-Inspector and Circle Inspector. We won’t talk about it. They throw up other issues.”