Disclosing details of his assets, he said the reports about the rise in his wealth had been done without checking facts. The minister's statement came in the wake of reports by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW) that the net worth of his assets had shot up from Rs 9.88 crore in May this year to Rs 20.35 crore in October.
The wealth of Union ministers was analysed by the ADR and NEW by comparing the declarations filed for the Lok Sabha elections in May this year and those sent about five months later to the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). Gowda said he had purchased a building in Bangalore for which he secured a loan of Rs 8 crore from the Federal Bank.
Gowda: I have never misused public money
He had also received Rs 2 crore as rental advance from the owner to whom he had rented out the premises, Gowda told reporters here yesterday. He said though the loan was passed in November last year, the talks with the owner could be held only after the Lok Sabha elections.
"During filing of nomination, the property was not with me and got it in my name only after the elections in a transparent manner within the limits of the law," he said. Gowda said by the end of June he had submitted all these details to the PMO to ensure transparency. The minister said he had purchased the three-storeyed building from one K V Naidu, which had been rented out to Ramaiah Foundation in Bangalore.
He said it was his duty to inform the people about the row over the increase in his assets after becoming Union Minister. "I am in the field of politics for the last 25 years and have done personal business along with politics, but had never misused public money," he said.