Karnataka illegal money transfer case: Minister B Nagendra will be summoned, says Shivakumar

In a six-page suicide note, the deceased levelled corruption allegations to the tune of ₹85 crore against three people.


Published May 31, 2024 | 1:06 AM Updated May 31, 2024 | 1:07 AM

Congress to be a cadre based party

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Thursday, 30 May said Scheduled Tribes Welfare Minister B Nagendra will be summoned and an explanation will be sought, following allegations against him in connection with an illegal money transfer case and the death by suicide of an official.

He said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is looking into the case very seriously and that a detailed report has been sought from the officials.

The unauthorised transfer of ₹88.62 crore from Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation’s bank account came to light, after accounts superintendent P Chandrashekhar died by suicide on the evening of 26 May, leaving behind a death note.

He has named the corporation’s Managing Director J G Padmanabh, accounts officer Parashuram G Durugannavar and Union Bank of India Chief Manager Suchismita Rawal in the note, stating that the minister had issued oral orders for transferring the funds.

The Opposition BJP is demanding the minister’s resignation and the case be handed over to the CBI for probe. Meanwhile, Home Minister Parameshwara visited the deceased officer’s family and offered condolences to them.

Related: Karnataka official dies by suicide, alleges superiors pressured him to illegally transfer ₹85 crore; case transferred to CID

DK Shivakumar on allegations

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Shivakumar said, “Seeking resignation is the duty of the Opposition, they will seek it. We will certainly look into it. I have seen the FIR. The CM is also observing it very seriously, we will call and talk (to Nagendra). We will look into what is true and lies.”

Just because someone has made some allegations without any evidence we cannot react he added.

“If anyone has committed wrong, it is wrong. There is no doubt about it. We have sought a complete report from officials, and officials have been suspended. I’m not saying that with suspensions everything will be fine. The CM has taken it variously. Whether it is bank involved or officials or whoever it is, merciless action will be taken,” he added.

Two FIRs have been registered following Chandrashekar’s death. The first was against the three people named in his death note, and the second was against six bank officials for the alleged fraud.

The state government, on Wednesday, 29 May suspended the Managing Director and an official of the Corporation, whose names have been mentioned in the death note.

When pointed out that the Congress, while in opposition, had sought the then BJP Minister KS Eshwarappa’s resignation following the suicide of a contractor naming him, but is not taking action against its minister now, Shivakumar said, there is no direct reference to Minister Nagendra in this case. “We are examining it, there is no question of protecting anyone. It is a matter of crores of rupees.”

“I have gone through the FIR. We have contacted our officers for details, we will get to know certain information. We will summon the minister and we should have a fair hearing. Let’s see,” he said.

Related: Karnataka government suspends two officials of Valmiki Corporation in illegal money transfer case

On the replacement for the KPCC chief post

Ruling out talks about the replacement of the KPCC chief post, which he is currently holding, Shivakumar said, “It’s false. No talks of the presidential post or anything for now. With local body polls around, where will they (party) leave me?”

Stating that candidates for MLC polls will be decided by the high command, Shivakumar indicated that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son and former Varuna MLA Yathindra Siddaramaiah may get a ticket.

Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar returned from New Delhi on 30 May, where they discussed with the Congress high command regarding candidates for the biennial election to 11 seats of the Karnataka Legislative Council to be elected by Members of the Legislative Assembly on 13 June.

As per the existing strength of parties in the Assembly, the Congress can win 7, BJP can win three and JD(S) one seat.

“We have given the list to Delhi. More than 300 people are seeking tickets. We have shortlisted 65 names considering all sections, they (high command) will decide. They have sought our opinion and we too have shared our opinion.

“We had a commitment towards Yathindra, as the high command had promised him a seat for vacating (Varuna assembly seat to father Siddaramaiah),” he said.

Asked about Home Minister Parameshwara expressing discontent, Shivakumar said, he has discussed with the CM and high command, there is nothing.

“Those who worked for the organisation will be given priority. Also, some seniors, about seven to eight people who lost the polls and many who sacrificed assembly seats are seeking tickets. High command will take the final decision,” he added.

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