The Lokayukta Police seized ₹8.3 crore in cash from the office of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa and the residence of his son on Friday, 3 March.
After the Lokayukta crackdown, MLA Virupakshappa resigned from the post of the chairman of the Karnataka Soaps and Detergent Limited (KSDL) on Friday.
The seizure came a day after the son of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, Prashanth Madal, the chief accountant of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), was caught red-handed by the Lokayukta while allegedly accepting a bribe of ₹40 lakh from a contractor at his father’s office on Crescent Road in Bengaluru.
The police said while ₹2.2 crore was found at the Channagiri MLAs office, another ₹6.1 crore was found at his son’s residence.
The development came even as political parties in Karnataka have been preparing for the Assembly elections.
Also read: Who is BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, Yediyurappa loyalist whose son was caught taking bribes?
Five held after raid on office of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa
“The Lokayukta police raided the MLA’s office and recovered ₹2.2 crore from there after which they continued to conduct searches at his residence, and recovered around ₹6.1 crore. Five persons have been apprehended, and were before the court,” Lokayukta Justice BS Patil told reporters.
To a specific query, the Lokayukta said the role of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa would be investigated.
“An FIR has been registered. Whoever is involved and whoever has any role in the matter will be probed and action will be initiated,” he said.
“Searches were conducted at accused Prashanth’s house because it was he who demanded and accepted the bribe. He has been taken into custody and the place where he was residing was also searched and the amount was recovered,” he added.
Lokayukta sources said Prashanth was caught based on a tip-off. The contractor supplied chemicals and other raw materials to the KSDL for manufacturing soaps and detergents.
The MLA’s son allegedly demanded ₹80 lakh and agreed to ₹40 lakh as the first installment. The contractor approached the Lokayukta a week ago and the trap was laid, the sources said, adding that he accepted the bribe on behalf of his father.
The Lokayukta sleuths have also reportedly found three bagsful of cash from the KSDL office.
Bommai lauds Lokayukta for action against BJP MLA
Putting up a brave facade, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the Lokayukta trap was proof that the anti-corruption body has been revived, unlike the previous Congress regime that had created a separate Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The bureau, Bommai said, was to cover up the Congress’s wrong deeds.
“Due to the absence of a strong Lokayukta in the past, several corruption cases during the Congress regime never got investigated,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.
“We have been repeatedly saying that we will conduct an impartial probe. Our stand, in this case, is that the independent Lokayukta institution will carry out an impartial investigation and whoever has done wrong will face action. There is no change in our stand,” the chief minister averred.
“All information and the money found are with the Lokayukta. Let an independent investigation take place. Our objective is that the truth should come out — like whose money it was and for what purpose it was meant,” he added.
On Congress state president DK Shivakumar’s assertion that the latest incident has once again proved that a 40 percent commission government is at the helm, Bommai said there were many corruption charges against Congress MLAs and ministers, but they covered it up by creating the ACB.
After the Lokayukta caught the son of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa on Thursday night, Shivakumar demanded the resignation of Bommai.
The Congress leader also extended support to Hoskote MLA Sarath Bachegowda, who staged an hour-long dharna near the Gandhi statue at Vidhana Soudha, accusing MTB Nagaraj of taking revenge by blocking the release of grants to his constituency.