Cash for V-C post: BJP MP Pratap Simha drops graft bomb on party-led Karnataka government

Higher Education Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan orders inquiry but asks the parliamentarian to provide evidence to support his charges.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Dec 22, 2022 | 6:07 PMUpdatedDec 22, 2022 | 6:07 PM

Pratap Simha at the Mysore event, accusing the BJP government of corruption. (Screengrab)

What is the going price for a vice-chancellor post in Karnataka universities? According to BJP parliamentarian Pratap Simha, it is between ₹5 to ₹6 crore rupees!

The Mysuru-Kodagu MP’s allegation has embarrassed the ruling BJP, already being ridiculed as the “40 percent government”.

Simha made the allegation at a convocation ceremony held in Mysuru last week. “If a vice-chancellor has to cough up ₹5 – ₹6 crore for his appointment, what would he do? He will obviously resort to something to recover that money,” the MP said.

“The lobbying for getting one’s name on the list going to the search committee is unbelievable. We have to look at why the universities are getting spoilt. I studied at the Mysore University and will fight against it (the corrupt system),” he said.

Questions over quality

Simha further said that he knew people who had passed the Karnataka State Eligibility Test without knowing to write even a single sentence in English.

“If such people are appointed as professors and assistant professors, how efficiently could they teach the students,” he asked.

The MP’s statements have once again exposed the intraparty squabbles in the Karnataka BJP, besides kicking up a storm in the organisation.


Soon after a video of his speech went viral on social media and sparked criticism against the BJP government, Higher Education Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan scrambled his resources to contain the damage.

On Wednesday, 21 December, he ordered a probe into the MP’s allegations. Speaking to reporters, the minister said the MP was within his rights to level charges and make statements in public. But he should provide evidence/records to support his claims or accusations.

“One can have his opinion about anything since this is a democracy. We don’t need to react to every opinion. We have ordered an inquiry into the graft charges,” Ashwathnarayan told journalists.

Also read: Bus shelter domes demolished after BJP MP’s threat

Congress fires at BJP

The higher education minister’s response, too, went viral and the Karnataka Congress tore into the BJP.

“BJP MLAs themselves are not ready to accept the government’s decisions, @drashwathcn Yatnal has clearly stated that behind their decision to set up a university, there is a motive to loot money. Then the assistant professor appointment scandal, and now the recovery of the bribe paid for the appointment of VC is also out in the open. Are Ashwathnarayan’s corrupt hands that dirty?” the Congress tweeted.

“The BJP’s own MP is accusing its government of accepting a bribe of more than ₹5 crore for appointing a vice-chancellor. It is not the state government that appoints the V-Cs. The Chancellor makes a final call based on the government’s recommendations. Unfortunately, the allegations of graft are targeted at the highest office in the state,” the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislature Council, BK Hariprasad, told South First.