The embattled BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, who is facing corruption charges after Rs 8.23 crore was seized from his house and office said on Tuesday that he got the money from sale of arecanut (supari).
Channagiri MLA Virupakshappa, who was the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited chairman, told reporters at Channeshapur after getting bail from the High Court this was the first in the history of India that a raid has been carried out against a ruling party MLA.
Accepting that the huge cache of money found in his house belonged to his family, the BJP MLA said, "Our Taluk is known as the land of arecanut (supari). An ordinary farmer in our arecanut land has Rs five to six crore at home. I have 125 acres arecanut farm, arecanut market, and I have many other businesses as well. I will furnish the appropriate documents to the Lokayukta and get back my money." Virupakshappa's son Prashanth Kumar M V, was caught red-handed by Lokayukta officials collecting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh cash from a contractor, allegedly on behalf of his father at the KSDL office.
Further raids led to the recovery of Rs 8.23 crore cash from the house of the Madal family, huge quantity of gold and silver ornaments and large investment in land.
Prashanth is a Karnataka Administrative Services officer and is the chief accounts officer of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
Claiming innocence, he said did not do anything wrong since he did not have any administrative power to sign on any tender documents.
Virupakshappa also maintained that the KSDL officers had cleared all the tenders in a transparent manner and no corruption had taken place.
"I have not done anything wrong, so the court gave me bail," he added.
Calling it a conspiracy against him, he suspected that it was done with a malicious political intent by unknown people.
"This is the first time in the history that a raid has been carried out against a ruling party MLA. I would like to say that I did not do anything which can hurt my party, and I did not do any corruption and I did not indulge in any irregularities," the BJP MLA said.
Virupakshappa also claimed that his son was innocent and alleged someone put Rs 40 lakh in his chamber to trap him.
The MLA who broke down and wept inconsolably said he himself had restricted his movements after the raids.
Channeshapur also saw a rousing welcome with garland and showers of flowers amid sloganeering by his supporters. The MLA stood on his vehicle and waved at the supporters to show the bail as his victory.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)