In the latest controversy, a minister of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's government made the error of talking about the cash police officers have to pay for postings.
Faced with heat from the Opposition, Karnataka CM Bommai on Sunday, October 30, said he will instruct the state's Director General of Police (DGP) to look into the case related to the death of police official, KH Nandish, who reportedly died of a heart attack.
What Did the BJP Minister Say?
On Thursday, 27 October, on a visit to the deceased officer’s house, state Municipal Administration Minister MTB Nagaraj, was heard saying in a purported video, “They collect money left, right, and centre and get involved in all kinds of things. This is their tension. They pay Rs 70 to 80 lakh for a posting; this is their tension. They are doing these kinds of things.”
The officer had recently been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty. After the comment was made, the video went viral.
What Has the Opposition Said?
Seeking answers from the Bommai-led BJP government on the issue, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said:
“The government itself has accepted that postings are happening on the basis of money payments. The statement of the government minister M T B Nagaraj that heart attacks are bound to happen when you pay Rs 70 lakh to Rs 80 lakh for a posting holds a mirror to the state government’s policy for police postings."
Posting a series of tweets with the hashtag #CashForPosting, Kumaraswamy added, “Whom did Nandish pay Rs 70-80 lakh to? What percentage of the money went to senior officers, the home minister and the chief minister? Or are there any unseen remote controllers working behind the scene? Please reveal the truth, CM sir."
Kumaraswamy also alleged that a few Hindi-speaking police officers from north India were acting as BJP agents and treating Kannada-speaking officers as slaves.
Further, Congress' Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah posted a series of tweet about the "massive corruption" in the BJP government and emphasised the necessity to expose this.
How Did BJP Defend Nagaraj’s Remarks?
While CM Bommai has ordered the DGP to look into the matter, state's Revenue Minister R Ashoka had a day earlier denied the allegations and said:
"MTB Nagaraj is known for controversial statements; I will discuss this with him. It (the claim) is false."R Ashoka, as quoted by ANI.
On Sunday, Bommai told reporters, “The state government has no hesitation to conduct the probe into the allegation of payment of Rs 60 to 80 lakh by the suspended inspector to get a posting at KR Puram...There is no second thought as far as conducting an investigation is concerned."