Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeIndia'40% Commission government' charge returns to Karnataka, with a twist

‘40% Commission government’ charge returns to Karnataka, with a twist

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that the contractor body must present evidence. (Archive)


The shoe of corruption is now on the other foot in Karnataka.

A contractor body that had alleged that a 40% commission had to be paid to get contracts for public projects under the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government has leveled the same accusation at the Congress government that came to power last year, but with a turn. The association has said that instead of politicians making money, it is bureaucrats who do it now.

While the BJP took the opportunity to attack the Congress, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the contractor body must present evidence.

The association’s allegations in 2022 led the Congress to term the BJP regime in the state as “40% sarkara” (40% government). The party also launched a ‘PayCM’ campaign with a QR code leading to a ‘40% sarkara’ website, which alleged that the BJP government was charging 40% commission on public projects.

The allegations had played a key role in Congress returning to power in Karnataka in May last year, winning 135 of 224 Assembly seats. The allegations against the Congress government came just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections.

D Kempanna, president of the Karnataka State Contractors’ Association, who had complained about corruption in the BJP government, said: “I don’t think corruption has gone down. Now, officials are making money. Earlier, politicians Yeah”.

Other members of the association alleged that officials do not issue work orders or release money unless bribes are paid and also claimed that “bid packages” are given to agencies close to the bureaucrats, ignoring local contractors.

Reacting to the allegations, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked Mr. Kempanna to approach Justice Nagamohan Das Commission if he has documents proving corruption.

“We constituted Justice Nagamohan Das Commission to probe the ’40 per cent commission’ that happened in the previous (BJP) government. If you have documents, then you should share them,” Siddaramaiah said, according to news agency PTI.

Karnataka Industries Minister MB Patil said: “Let him (Mr Kempanna) declare the departments… present facts against Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (Bengaluru municipal corporation) or the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board. .. and not make general statements. If there is something, the prime minister will investigate it.”

The BJP, for its part, claimed that the “real corruption” has now been exposed.

“The Congress Party made false allegations against our government. Now, the real corruption is happening in the Congress government. Now the same contractors, who are hand in hand with the Congress government, are feeling the pressure and facing the situation” . said BJP MLA CN Ashwath Narayan.

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