K’taka Congress MLA ‘directly’ involved in sale of jobs in dairy cooperative KOMUL: ED

PTI, Jan 11, 2024, 4:53 PM IST

A committee headed by Karnataka Congress MLA K Y Nanjegowda ”accommodated” 30 candidates referred by some politicians for jobs in dairy cooperative KOMUL by ”completely manipulating” the interview process and in lieu of kickbacks, the Enforcement Directorate alleged Thursday.

The 61-year-old legislator from the Malur assembly seat in Kolar district and those linked to him were raided by the central agency on January 8 as part of a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the hiring of staff for KOMUL and illegal allotment of government land worth Rs 150 crore.

The ED said in a statement that it unearthed a ”scam” in the recruitment in Kolar-Chikkaballapura District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Limited (KOMUL).

”It was noticed that recruitment committee of KOMUL chaired by K Y Nanjegowda and four other members completely manipulated the interview process.” ”According to the board decision, orders were issued to the selected candidates and they were sent to training without making the final result public,” the agency said.

It was ”admitted” by the directors of KOMUL and members of its recruitment committee during the searches that seats were sold for money ranging between Rs 20-30 lakh per seat, the ED claimed.

It is also gathered that certain politicians have referred their candidates for selection and a total of 30 such references were accommodated, it said.

”K Y Nanjegowda being the head of the recruitment committee is actively and directly involved in sale of seats and manipulation of interview marks,” the ED said.

According to KOMUL, it is Karnataka’s second highest milk producing district organisation.

”The area of operation is restricted to Kolar and Chikkaballapura districts having 2,919 villages of 11 revenue taluks,” it said on its portal.

In the alleged illegal government land allotment case, the agency said, it seized more than Rs 25 lakh in cash, documents related to movable and immovable properties worth more than Rs 50 crore, various ”incriminating” documents and digital data.

Nanjegowda, being the chairman of the Malur land grant committee, ”in collusion” with other members of the committee and revenue officials, abused his power by granting around 80 acres land worth around Rs 150 crore in a single month under four meetings to various illegal beneficiaries by creating various fictitious and bogus documents, the agency alleged.

”Later on, based on inspection report of the then regional commissioner, the same was cancelled,” it said.

Illegal allotment of land was done in ”blatant” violation of guidelines and by forging documents, it alleged.

The land allotment money laundering case stems from a Karnataka Police FIR.

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