Fake Mysore Sandal Soap unit in Hyderabad: Priyank Kharge says BJP leaders selling Karnataka assets

Hyderabad police arrested two businessmen with links to the BJP for running the fake Mysore Sandal Soap unit.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Jan 18, 2024 | 8:21 AMUpdatedJan 18, 2024 | 4:35 PM

Fake Mysore Sandal Soaps manufactured in Hyderabad

A fake Mysore Sandal Soap manufacturing unit in Telangana’s capital Hyderabad — busted during the Makara Sankranti season — has turned ammo for the Congress in Karnataka to get back at the BJP which has been on the offensive against the ruling party on various counts, including its leaders’ decision to skip the Ram temple event in Ayodhya.

In a joint operation by officials of the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) — manufacturers of Mysore Sandal Soap — and Hyderabad police, goods worth around ₹2 crore, including fake products and carton boxes used for packaging, were confiscated.

The Malakpet police have arrested two city-based businessmen — Rakesh Jain and Mahaveer Jain, both active BJP members — and charged them with running the fake manufacturing unit of the Karnataka government-owned KSDL.

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‘Fake unit run by BJP leaders’

Soon after the arrests were made, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge, at a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday, 17 January, said Rakesh and Mahaveer Jain were active BJP leaders in the state.

The minister also displayed photographs of the duo with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh.

Priyank Kharge said Rakesh and Mahaveer Jain also had links with Chittapur BJP leader Manikant Rathod and the party office bearer Vittal Nayak, son of former MLA Valmiki Nayak.

BJP leaders are selling Karnataka’s assets by manufacturing fakes and everyone in the BJP gets their share from it, Kharge charged.

He took the occasion highlight corruption of BJP leaders by recalling party MLA Madal Virupakshappa, who was tainted after his son was arrested red handed by Lokayutka officials during raids at his office and house last year.

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The Hyderabad complaint

According to the complaint filed with the police, a total of 400 carton boxes of soap were found in the fake soap manufacturing unit. All the materials have been seized as evidence for the case. Samples of the seized Mysore Sandal Soaps have also been confirmed as fake, sources in KSDL told South First.

Fake Mysore Sandal Soaps manufactured in Hyderabad

Fake Mysore Sandal Soaps manufactured in Hyderabad

A few days ago, the Karnataka Industries Minister MB Patil, who is also the chairman of KSDL, had said that he received an anonymous call about fake Mysore Sandal Soap being supplied in the Hyderabad market.

The minister instructed a KSDL Managing Director Prashanth PKM to inquire into the matter. Prashanth contacted his sales team in Secunderabad who followed-up and on the tip-off and reported back that there was indeed a fake Mysore Sandal Soap production and packaging unit.

The fake soaps were being sold in some areas of Hyderabad. However, there was no information about who was supplying it. Then the KSDL staff, headed by the area sales head, themselves bought the product worth ₹5 lakh and tested the soaps. They were found to be fake.

Due to the high demand for Mysore Sandal Soap during the Makara Sankranti festival, orders for around ₹25 lakh had reportedly been placed with the fake unit.

On the pretext of transporting the soaps in a vehicle, the area sales head visited the spot himself and confirmed the existence of the fake Mysore Sandal Soap manufacturing unit.

Minister Patil, who has taken an interest in expanding the market of KSDL products across the country and abroad, said that steps will be taken to ensure that the culprits are punished.