A Merc For Siddaramaiah? BJP Allegations Raise Dust

Mr Siddaramaiah had earlier faced criticism for sporting a Hublot watch, allegedly costing Rs 70 lakh. He said the watch was a gift from a doctor friend who worked in the middle-east.

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A Merc For Siddaramaiah? BJP Allegations Raise Dust

The BJP has alleged that Siddaramaiah received a Mercedes-Benz car worth 1.5 crore as gift.


Bengaluru: 

The Karnataka Congress, facing questions about reports of a brawl between its two lawmakers, had to counter BJP attacks on another front: Allegations that its party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had received a Mercedes car from party lawmaker Byrathi Suresh.

A tweet from the BJP this morning read: "Congress MLA Byrsthi Suresh gifts Sri @siddaramaiah a Mercedes-Benz car worth 1.5 crore. Wears spectacle costing ₹2 Lakh. Wore 80 lakh worth hublot watch. Siddaramaiah vere looks like you have made enough & more money during your 10% govt."

Congress minister and party trouble shooter DK Shivakumar said there was no "official record" of any such gift. "In the party, we get to use others' vehicles... so it's just one of those things," he said. Lawmaker Byrathi Suresh has said the car is in his wife's name.

Mr Siddaramaiah had earlier faced criticism for sporting a Hublot watch, allegedly costing Rs 70 lakh. He said the watch was a gift from a doctor friend who worked in the middle-east.

But the BJP approached the Enforcement Directorate to flag the issue. The matter also raised a storm in the state assembly and became on the key issues on which the Congress faced attacks in the run-up to the assembly elections.

One of Mr Siddaramaiah's detractors was HD Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal Secular, who heads the alliance government with the Congress.

The BJP did not omit the detail. Another tweet from the party read:

"A Enemy within @siddaramaiah even after being defeated in Chamundeshwari Constituency by JDS had to unwillingly join hands to elevate his political rival @hd_kumaraswamy as CM @siddaramaiah & @DKShivakumar's greed to hold on to power is the epicenter of entire political turmoil".

The Congress lawmakers spent another night yesterday at the Eagleton resort, where they had been taken - as Mr Siddaramaiah said, "to save them from the BJP". Since last weekend, the Congress has been alleging that the BJP was trying to poach on its lawmakers to destabilize the government.

Officially, the party said they were discussing plans for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Showcause notices were issued to two lawmakers who did not attend the meet - Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli. Two other absent lawmakers, Umesh Jadhav and B Nagendra, had given explanations for their absence.

Meetings are expected to continue today - and a decision on how long the lawmakers would remain at the resort would be made by the evening, Congress sources said.



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