Ahead Of Assembly Poll, Bribery Scandal Rocks BJP Govt In Karnataka; Police Recover Rs 8 Cr From MLA


India Tomorrow

BENGALURU—Ahead of the assembly poll, a bribery scandal rocked the BJP government in Karnataka after Lokayukta anti-corruption police recovered Rs eight crore from the house and office of ruling party MLA K Madal Virupakshappa.

The MLA is the chairman of  Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd (KSDL), a state public sector undertaking (PSU).

Police raided after MLA’s son was allegedly caught accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh in his father’s office.

Soon after Virupakshappa resigned as chairman of the KSDL, he went underground. MLA is untraceable and has applied for pre-arrest bail.

Police have arrested his son, V Prashanth Madal, a Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) officer who was posted as a chief accountant with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

Police recovered Rs 6 crore in cash at BJP MLA’s home. Another Rs 1.75 crore was recovered from his office.

Police have named MLA the first accused and his son the second accused. The case was registered based on the complaint of Shreyas Kashyap, a partner in Chemixil Corporation, Bengaluru, who alleged that Prashanth Madal had demanded Rs 81 lakh as a bribe for a KSDL tender.

The Lokayukta police apprehended Prashant Madal after Madal received money from a private individual at the Crescent Road office of his father. Prashanth was earlier posted with the now-defunct Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

In his 2018 poll affidavit, Madal Virupakshappa, who represents the Channagiri constituency of the Davangere district, disclosed assets of Rs 5.73 crore.

“The anti-corruption branch of Lokayukta yesterday caught Prashanth Madal, son of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa while taking a bribe of ₹ 40 lakhs. As a result, over ₹ 1.7 crores in cash were recovered from his office,” the Karnataka Lokayukta said.

Lokayukta said they had been tipped off by a complainant about Prashanth Madal, a 2008-batch Karnataka Administrative Services officer, demanding a ₹ 81-lakh payoff from a contractor for a deal for raw materials needed to manufacture soap and other detergents.

Karnataka Lokayukta Justice B S Patil (retired) said five persons, including Prashanth, have been apprehended.

Police have also named Surendra, an accountant in Prashanth’s office; Siddesh, a relative of Prashanth; and two others, Albert Nicola and Gangadhar in the FIR.

Congress,  reinvigorated by Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, said they would appeal to the Election commission to announce the Karnataka Assembly polls and implement the Model Code of Conduct immediately.

“We want the ECI to enforce the MCC without further delay to stop the rampant corruption and violation of several rules by the ruling BJP,” Siddaramaiah, Leader of Opposition, said.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the BJP had re-established the Lokayukta to check corruption. “In the absence of the anti-corruption institution, so many incidents had taken place during the Congress regime and were also hushed up,” he said, as he promised an “impartial probe.”


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