Karnataka Congress Chief DK Shivakumar was among several leaders of the grand old party that were detained in Bengaluru on Friday, 23 September in connection with ‘PayCM’ campaign, news channel NDTV has reported.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah, BK Hariprasad, Priyank Khadge, and Randeep Singh Surjewala were among the other Congress leaders who were detained.
The Congress in Karnataka intensified its campaign targeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai by putting up 'PayCM' posters at Bharatiya Janata Party's Nelamangala office on the outskirts of Bengaluru on Friday. The party later shared the pictures of its PayCM campaign with media.
The PayCM QR code bearing the photograph of the chief minister gets directed to a website – '40% Sarkara' – accusing the Bommai-led BJP government was charging 40 percent commission on public works.
The website was launched a few days ago by the Congress. Reacting to the campaign, Bommai told news agency ANI, "No allegations are true. They've given no evidence."
"It's all politically motivated. I've challenged them to produce proofs. During their (Congress) tenure, there were many scams that should be inquired. QR code ('PayCM') is an evil design."Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Chief Minister
Reacting to the arrest of party leaders, Siddaramaiah said, "Yes, this ('PayCM' poster protest) will continue in the entire state. This is a campaign by the Congress party against this "40% corruption government."
The police are probing the matter on Bommai's instruction and had arrested B R Naidu, the former chief of the social media team of Congress' Karnataka unit, on Wednesday night from his residence.
Ahead of Assembly elections in Karnataka next year, the Congress is trying to rake up the issue of contractor Santosh Patil's death by suicide in an Udupi hotel earlier this year.
Patil had accused the then state Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa of demanding 40 percent cut in a public work in his district.
Eshwarappa had resigned following the charge. However, an investigation carried out by the police gave him a clean chit.
Following the PayCM campaign, the BJP started 'Scam-Ramaiah' pointing to the alleged scams taken place during the Congress government in Karnataka led by then chief minister Siddaramaiah.
BJP state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel charged that the Congress has falsely accused the Chief Minister and Karnataka has been insulted by this allegation.
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