"US Trip On Personal Expenses," Says Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy

HD Kumaraswamy's clarification comes amid criticism the Janata Dal (Secular) leader is facing regarding the alleged expenditure of taxpayers' money for unofficial purposes.

'US Trip On Personal Expenses,' Says Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy

HD Kumaraswamy said he is going to the US for the foundation laying ceremony of a mutt.

Bidar:

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday clarified that his upcoming trip to the United States is unofficial and he will be travelling on personal expenses.

The statement comes amid criticism the Janata Dal (Secular) leader is facing regarding the alleged expenditure of taxpayers' money for unofficial purposes.

"I am travelling to New Jersey to participate in a foundation laying ceremony of Adichunchanagiri Mutt. It is not an official tour. I am travelling on my personal expenses," Mr Kumaraswamy, who concluded his village outreach programme at Ujalamaba village in Bidar district, told the media in Bidar.

The Chief Minister said credit for the ''Gram Vastavya'' programme goes to the Congress-JD(S) coalition. "The cabinet ministers from Congress party also participated in the village stay with me. So the credit goes to the government and the officials from all departments," he said.

On the criticism he is facing from the opposition on his stay at villagers' homes, he said, "In a school in Yadgir, I saw a slogan that says 'silence is the only answer for the meaningless question'. So I choose not to react on this anymore."

Earlier this week, the BJP had reportedly raised questions over Mr Kumaraswamy conducting official meetings at a five-star hotel, which is situated next to his allotted official home in Bengaluru.

Retaliating to his apparent portrayal as a "five-star" Chief Minister, he had said, "Have I submitted any expenditure bill to the government? It is my personal issue. I am not interested in getting a certificate from friends from BJP. I will work according to my conscience."

In addition, Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had criticised Mr Kumaraswamy over his village tour, saying "simply sitting" does not work. "Simply sitting after becoming a chief minister or minister does not work. It is important to concentrate on schemes and their implementation. Chief Ministers or ministers roaming around in villages does not work," Mr Moily had said.

The ''Gram Vastavya'' initiative is the resumption of HD Kumaraswamy's 2006 rural outreach programme during which he stayed at the homes of villagers.