BJP demands K'taka CM Siddaramaiah's resignation over Valmiki Corporation scam

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Bengaluru, Jun 8 (PTI) The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka on Saturday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in connection with the alleged Rs 87 crore fraud in the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation Limited.

The state Tribal Welfare Minister B Nagendra has already resigned in this connection.

In a post on 'X,' the party shared an affidavit of the 'accused number 8', which was submitted in court.

In the purported affidavit, the advocate for 'accused number 8' requested the court to direct the investigating officer to collect and preserve the CCTV footage captured near the Higher Education Minister's chamber, Vidhana Soudha May 24 from 10 am to 3 pm and all CCTV footage of Union Bank of India, MG Road Branch for three months from March 1, 2024 to June 1, 2024 and a mirror view image of the phone seized from the 'accused No.8'.

The petitioner has also requested the court to direct the authorities to preserve the WhatApp chat between the "Accused No.8 and the contact's name saved as 'Basavanagowda Daddal' along with hash value and 65B Certificate, in the interest of justice and equity." While the Karnataka government has constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the case, the Union Bank of India has handed over the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Basanagouda Daddal is the Raichur Rural Congress MLA and Chairman of the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation Limited (KMVSTDCL).

"It is impossible for the SIT to conduct an impartial investigation into this scam involving the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs. Therefore, the BJP demands that Siddaramaiah should hand over the case to the CBI and resign and cooperate with the investigation," the party said on 'X'.

There was no reaction from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the demand.

The BJP also demanded that MLA Daddal step down as Valmiki Corporation chairman.

However, Daddal told reporters in Bengaluru that it was obvious for the opposition to make such demands. He insisted that he was not aware of the scam.

Since the illegal transfer of money took place when the Model Code of Conduct was in effect, he did not conduct any meeting in that duration, Daddal said.

"All this happened when the MCC was in force. It is not an ordinary scam because this is related to the funds meant for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes. There appears to be a big network," the MLA said. PTI GMS SS