Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said his government will get all the alleged scams and irregularities that have taken place during the previous BJP regime probed and punish the guilty.
Noting that the government will fulfill all the poll promises, he said, implementation of Congress’ five guarantees will cost Rs 59,000 crore a year to the exchequer, and there is a slightly higher burden on the administration this year.
”We will get scams inquired into. Four medical colleges were constructed and there are allegations about irregularities in it, we will get it investigated. Also, we will get allegations of 40 per cent commission probed. There were irregularities in health-related procurements during COVID-19 period, irrigation projects related irregularities and Bitcoin scam, all of them will be probed,” Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said investigation is on into the Police Sub Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam by the CID; it will be further intensified, and those guilty will be punished.
Deaths caused in Chamarajanagara hospital, allegedly due to shortage of oxygen supply, during COVID, will also be probed, he said, adding that, ”the then Health Minister K Sudhakar had said only two had died, but the casualties were more, due to shortage of oxygen supply. He had lied. We will get it inquired.” Hitting out at opposition parties for criticising the government regarding the implementation of poll guarantees, the Chief Minister said, already one guarantee has been implemented providing free ride for women in public transport buses; from July 1 up to 200 units of free electricity will be provided to households under ‘Gruha Jyothi’ scheme, also ‘Gruha Lakshmi’ scheme providing Rs 2,000 to women head of the family will be rolled out after August 15 — applications have been invited for it.
Regarding ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme to provide additional 5 kgs of rice to every member of a BPL household, he said, for this we need 2,29,000 metric tonnes of rice every month, which is not available anywhere, and the central government has ”conspired” to ensure that the state government does not get the required quantity of rice from Food Corporation of India (FCI), which had initially agreed to supply, as they have stocks.
”The BJP government at the Centre by ensuring that FCI doesn’t supply rice to the state has made an attack on the state’s poor, BJP means anti-poor. We are making efforts to source rice through other agencies like NCCF, NAFED and Kendriya Bhandar; we have called quotations and talks are on. We will discuss in the Cabinet and decide tomorrow on the next move, as we are not getting required rice from producing states,” he said. As soon as rice is available the scheme will be rolled out.
On the ‘YuvaNidhi’ scheme to provide Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduates and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders, who graduated in 2022-23, on not getting jobs within six months, the CM said, it will be given for 24 months, within which the unemployed will have to find jobs; on getting jobs it will be stopped.
He also said about 2.5 lakh vacancies in government departments will be filled up in stages. ”It cannot be done at once, also implementation of five poll guarantees will cost Rs 59,000 crore a year to the government. So, this year there is a slightly higher burden on the government, but it is certain that the guarantees will be implemented.”
Questioning the moral right of the BJP, which has warned of protests against the government, demanding the implementation of poll guarantees, Siddaramaiah asked: ”have they implemented the poll promises made in the manifesto, while in power?” ”Mr Yediyurappa (former CM) should come out as to how many promises were implemented, during his period and Basavaraj Bommai (former CM) period. They should not do political gimmicks, instead of protesting if they are committed for the cause of the poor, let them get rice from the Centre, which is doing hate politics,” he said.