Ramdas smells Rs 150-crore scam in Indira Canteen project
Bengaluru: BJP MLA S A Ramdas on Wednesday charged that a Rs 150-crore scam had occurred in the implementation of the Indira Canteen project. Of the total amount, Rs 50 crore had been paid as kickback to a national party.
Ramdas who raised the issue during the discussion on the budget in the Assembly, said Rs 211 crore had been spent on construction of 308 canteens, while their maintenance had been entrusted to New Delhi-based firm Reward.
Noting that the Centre had blacklisted the company, he said the money collected as labour cess was being used for implementing the scheme.
The Congress members took serious objection to Ramdas’s remarks. Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar said that the member was raising the issue without the basis of any document.
Ramdas claimed that he was in possession of the required documents. Following this, a verbal duel ensued between the Congress and the BJP members. JD(S) members rushed to the aid of Congress members.
Lashing out at the BJP members, Congress MLA B K Sangameshwara said they should not “bark” at will. Ramdas retorted by saying, “After the coalition government came to power, have you allowed even dogs into the House?”
Deputy Speaker J K Krishna Reddy, who was in the Chair, told Ramdas that he had levelled a serious allegation and that he should present documentary evidence to substantiate his charges.
BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali said Ramdas had spoken on the issue with evidence and that the Congress feared that it would be exposed.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the ruling coalition members were prepared for a discussion, provided the Opposition raised the matter by issuing a notice.
He said the government was prepared to take action against the persons who paid and those who received the money.
Shivakumar said, “You have targeted our temple and sanctum sanctorum. It’s a sacred place for us. Will you keep quiet if we level charges against Keshava Krupa (RSS office)?”