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Karnataka CM tells contractors body to complain to Lokayukta 'with evidence'

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Bengaluru, Aug 24: Trying to question the credibility of the "40 per cent commission" charge against his government by the state contractors association as it was made after meeting the Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said there is no meaning to such claims.

Any baseless statement will be nothing but motivated, Bommai said, adding that he would advise the association to give a complaint to the Lokayukta if there is anything specific with evidence. "First of all, the association headed by D Kempanna is not the only association of contractors.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

It is one among several other such associations. Secondly, there is no meaning in his allegations. It should be noted that he has spoken after meeting (Leader of Opposition) Siddaramaiah," Bommai said in response to a question regarding the allegations.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, following the concerns raised by the association last time, the government had made certain orders, and even going a step ahead as it constituted a tender scrutiny committee headed by a retired judge, which no other state has done.

"If they have any specific complaint, they can go before the Lokayukta and give a complaint. The Lokayukta has full freedom, it will investigate and we will take strict action against the guilty if any," he added. An association delegation led by its President D Kempanna on Wednesday met Congress leader Siddaramaiah, after which the former alleged that the whole system was corrupt and accused ministers and MLAs of demanding a percentage in commission.

Siddaramaiah objects to Non-inclusion of Nehru in Karnataka govt ad, calls Bommai RSS slaveSiddaramaiah objects to Non-inclusion of Nehru in Karnataka govt ad, calls Bommai RSS slave

Kempanna said the association would be writing another letter to the Prime Minister in this regard and that it will continue its fight demanding an independent judicial probe.

The association president even specifically charged the Kolar district in-charge Minister (Munirathna), without taking his name, accusing him of threatening officials to collect and get the money. Responding to a question on Kempanna specifically pointing at the Kolar district in-charge Minister (Munirathna), the Chief Minister said, "Whoever it is, with specific case and incident along with evidence, let them give a complaint, and it will be investigated."

Regarding the association stating that they will write a letter to the Prime Minister, Bommai said everyone has the right to write a letter to the Prime Minister, but other than that there is a system in place to investigate corruption.

"After the recent court order (High Court), Lokayukta is fully independent, there are judicial officers there. Let them give a complaint, it will be investigated," he added. The association had earlier written a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard in July last year.

In their letter to Modi, the association had claimed "harassment" by ministers, elected representatives and others, accusing them of demanding up to 30 per cent of the tender amount for approving a contract, and 5-6 per cent towards release of 'Letter of Credit' against pending bills.

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