A day after senior Congress leader and MLA BR Patil, accused Karnataka Revenue Minister Krishna Byregowda of leveling corruption charges against him over public works and demanded a probe into the matter, CM Siddaramaiah said that he had spoken with Patil and has invited him to 'clarify' the situation.
"I have spoken to BR Patil today. I made an attempt to reach him yesterday, but unfortunately, I couldn't get through. However, we had a conversation this morning. I have invited him to come and meet me so that we can clarify the situation," the Karnataka chief minister said.
Earlier on Tuesday, BR Patil, in a letter to Siddaramaiah demanded an inquiry into the matter and said he would resign if the allegations are proved.
He also said that he will not go to the session until the investigation of KRDL works is completed.
After writing the letter, he returned to the Kalburgi from Bengaluru in the morning and spoke to the reporters and said that he had written the letter to the CM because his self-esteem was threatened.
"In the last session, the attention of the session was drawn by asking a question about the delay and incomplete works of KRDL works. But Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, while answering, spoke in a way that blamed me. I protested then, but no one came to my support. In the legislative meeting, only the MLA of Indi Constituency, Yashvantraya Patil, stood in my support, but the MLAs of the district did not support me" Patil said.
He further said, "Minister Krishna Byre Gowda's allegations against me should be investigated. I lived with self-respect. If the investigation does not reveal the truth, that means he's dead. Therefore, information should be obtained from the authorities and a high-level investigation should be conducted."
Meanwhile, Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar said that the government is in the process of conducting an inquiry.
"There is nothing involved in it. He is asking for an inquiry and the government is in the process of conducting an inquiry," he said.
The work dates back to 2013, when, some work in his constituency was assigned to the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL) ahead of the assembly elections then.
Patil, in his letter, said that in order to avoid the process of issuing tenders, keeping in view the urgency of the work, the project was assigned to the KRIDL.
However, the project has not been completed yet and the quality of work is substandard and he had raised this issue in the last assembly session.
In the absence of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge in the House, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda responded. Byre Gowda then asked him why he handed over the work to the KRIDL -- which Patil claims gave the impression that he (Patil) has taken money from KRIDL. Patil then protested against the minister's reply. (ANI)