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Updated At: Oct 15, 2022 05:35 PM (IST)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves during a public meeting as part of Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Bellary, Karnataka, on October 15, 2022. PTI
Ballari (Karnataka), October 15
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the BJP-led regime in Karnataka as against the Scheduled castes and tribes and alleged that it is a “40 per cent commission” government.
The BJP government in Karnataka is “anti-SC and ST,” and there is a 50 per cent rise in atrocities against these oppressed people, Rahul Gandhi alleged addressing a public meeting here, which is part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by him.
A large number of party workers and people gathered at the municipal ground here as the Congress party celebrated the foot march led by Rahul completing the 1,000 km milestone.
The BJP-led regime in the state is called a “40 per cent commission” government as any work could be done by paying it, he alleged.
The ruling BJP and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai have dismissed such bribery allegations as ‘unfounded’ and ‘baseless.’ Rahul’s bribery barb comes against the backdrop of his party’s sustained campaign in Karnataka against the Saffron party government over corruption allegations.
The Congress has made corruption a poll-plank in the state after a contractor, Santosh Patil died by suicide accusing the then Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K Eshwarappa of demanding a 40 per cent kickback. Following the contractor’s death, Eshwarappa resigned from his post. Congress ran a ‘PayCM’ campaign as well.
The former Congress president alleged that funds allocated for the development of the SC and ST communities have been diverted. “Rs 8,000 crore of your money has been diverted,” Gandhi claimed.
“If you have to become a police sub-inspector then you can get it by paying Rs 80 lakh. If you have money you can buy a government job here but if you don’t have money, you can never get a job in your life.”
The Congress leader was referring to the recent police sub-inspector recruitment scam in which many people have been arrested.
It includes an additional director general of police Amrit Paul, some deputy superintendents, inspectors, sub-inspectors, constables, BJP leader Divya Hagargi and the gunman of a Congress MLA besides some candidates.
The exam has been annulled after the scam broke out. Candidates who were arrested reportedly told police they paid Rs 70 lakh to Rs 80 lakh to get a job.
“This is the reason that Karnataka government is called as the 40 per cent commission government. If you have to get any work done, you can do it by paying a commission of 40 per cent.” Gandhi alleged a scam in the cooperative banks and in appointment of assistant professors as well.
The Wayanad MP demanded to know why the BJP regime was not implementing the Justice Nagamohan Das commission recommendation to increase the reservation for scheduled caste from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and for scheduled tribes from three per cent to seven per cent.
The BJP never wished to give special status to the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region, now known as Kalyana Karnataka.
His party-led government gave special status to the region under the 371-J of the Constitution, which helped youth get jobs and admission in engineering, medical and other professional colleges.
“On the one hand, there is unemployment while on the other there is price rise. People are squeezed in between the two,” Gandhi said.
He slammed the BJP and RSS for the ideology of “hatred” that is weakening the country.
Congress leader Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his address said the nation is facing challenges from “fascist” forces.
Condemning what he called the “communal forces,” Gehlot claimed that people are suffering due to unemployment and price rise.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah blamed the BJP and RSS for “disturbing peace” in the country by indulging in “communal” politics.
Congress presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge joined Gandhi and other leaders today in the ongoing yatra in the district.
Leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi has so far covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and made an entry into Andhra Pradesh as well.
The foot march began on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and it is set to culminate in Jammu and Kashmir, after covering about 3,500 km.
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