At a time when Siddaramaiah and B S Yeddyurappa are trading charges of "commission government", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka has alleged a borewell scam in social welfare ministry. Armed with documents, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje alleged that a massive 1,800 borewells were documented as drilled within a span of one week in just one constituency- Holalkere- the constituency that Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya represents.
During a press conference on Friday, BJP MP and State General Secretary Karandlaje released documents pertaining to Ganga Kalyan - a scheme carried out by social welfare department to dig borewells for Dalits. "On January 22, Anjaneya convened a meeting of officials and approved drilling of 1,800 borewells in one single constituency at a cost of Rs 18 crore. No tender was called for. No permission was sought from Mines and Geology department," Shobha Karandjale claimed.
She alleged that despite claims of 1,800 borewells on paper, very few were dug. "It is impossible to drill 1,800 borewells in six days by 15 companies. The money meant for Dalits has been syphoned off," she alleged. Karandlaje added that while the government sanctioned the money immediately, neither a list of beneficiaries nor a list of locations where the borewells were said to have been built was recorded.
Social Welfare minister cries conspiracy
While the BJP alleged that permission to drill as may borewells in a single constituency- which is already water deficit- was impossible according to rules, Social Welfare Minister Anjaneya alleged conspiracy.
This is an experimental special package for my constituency. There are many poor people in the region and everytime someone attempts to help them, allegations of corruption are levelled. I am willing to face any inquiry," H Anjaneya told reporters. He added that the works to drill borewells are already underway the will be completed shortly.