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Basavaraj Bommai rejects Congress’ demand for probe into Upper Bhadra project

PTI, Jun 20, 2021, 1:53 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday rejected opposition Congress’ demand for a probe into BJP MLC A H Vishwanath’s allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the Upper Bhadra project worth Rs 20,000 crore.

”The procedures (for tender) followed by the previous government with regards to irrigation projects, as per provisions of Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTTP) Act and decisions taken by the boards, have been followed here too. Everything is open in this, there is nothing in it,” Bommai said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, making allegations is the duty of the opposition party, but the truth has been clarified by the Water Resources Department Secretary.

”When the truth is known, what is the need for investigation,” he asked.

While Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Siddaramaiah demanded a probe by the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), citing Vishwanath’s allegations, party’s state President D K Shivakumar has demanded a joint house committee probe.

Vishwanath had recently alleged that a tender worth Rs 20,000 crore was floated for the Upper Bhadra project without the consent of the Finance department.

However, Water Resources Secretary Laxmanrao Peshve had issued a statement subsequently, terming the allegations as ”baseless” and had clarified that the tender process is completely ”transparent”.

Vishwanath had even accused Chief Minister B S Yediyurappas son B Y Vijayendra of receiving 10 per cent kickbacks in the project.

Responding to a question on investigation into allegations of phone-tapping, by BJP MLA Arvind Bellad, Bommai said, ”the investigation is on…police are gathering information.” Bellad, a MLA from Hubli-Dharwad West, is said to be from the faction of the party that is seeking Yediyurappa’s replacement, had on Thursday alleged that his phone was being tapped and attempts were on to fix him as part of some conspiracy, in order to defame him.

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