A Lingayat seer has accused Karnataka’s Basavaraj Bommai government of taking a 30 per cent cut from the grants set aside for the welfare and development of mutts — a shocking allegation days after the corruption charges related to former state minister KS Eshwarappa. Chief Minister Bommai has said that he takes the seer’s allegations “very seriously” and will “get to the bottom of the case”.
Dingaleshwara Swami is the seer who led a delegation of over two dozen sadhus from across the state to extend support to Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa when he was exiting as the Chief Minister. He is also the one who even warned of a BJP fallout in the state if BS Yediyurappa is removed from the post of CM.
“Even we are aware of the cut scam. If any grants have to be released to the mutts for the welfare and their development, the government cuts 30 per cent as commission before releasing the amount, otherwise it doesn’t work at all. The officials say that if you don’t agree to the cut from the grants, then the grants won’t be released,” Dingaleshwara Swami said.
“He’s a great Swamiji,” Bommai said. “He’s well known in the state. I only request his holiness to furnish the proof of whom the commission was paid to, for what purpose he has paid, and to whom he has paid… We will certainly inquire and get to the bottom of the case,” he added.
Last week, Santhosh Patil, a BJP worker and contractor, died by suicide after accusing KS Eshwarappa, former panchayat raj minister, of demanding 40 per cent commission on some projects he worked on.
Easwarappa had to step down as the cut money allegations set off a huge political scandal. Several associations of contractors had supported the allegations of Santhosh Patil, saying that having to pay 40 per cent commission was usual.
With roughly a year to go for the state polls, the BJP’s Central leadership insisted that he resign, sources said, even though the Chief Minister was in favour of taking a call on the matter after the preliminary investigation.
The state’s opposition Congress demanded that Eshwarappa — who was named in the suicide case — also be arrested over the corruption case. The party has also said all such corruption allegations need a thorough investigation.
With inputs from NDTV