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Opinion

Karnataka minister charged with seeking Rs 1cr bribe alleges conspiracy

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One day after it belatedly came to light that a complaint had been lodged with the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PMO) against Karnataka’s excise minister H Nagesh, accused of seeking a Rs one crore bribe for a transfer, the minister said he was being targeted for being a Dalit.

In a letter written to the PMO, Sneha, the daughter of LN Mohan Kumar, the deputy commissioner of the excise department in Ballari, alleged that the minister, through intermediaries, demanded a sum of rupees one crore for the transfer of Kumar to Bangalore.

Sneha, in the letter to the PMO, said that her father was suffering from health problems and requested a transfer to Bengaluru, which had a vacancy in an equivalent position, to receive good medical treatment. However, the minister, through two assistants, Manjunath and Harsha, demanded a sum of Rs one crore to sanction the transfer. He also said that, despite having reported the matter to MP CM Ashwath Narayan, no action was taken against the minister.

In response to the letter written to the PMO, Excise Minister Nagesh claimed that Mohan Kumar had lost his mental balance and was making all kinds of false accusations. He also claimed that Sneha was a regular whistleblower against authorities. “I completely deny these charges because they are unfounded and false. They are attacking me because I am a Dalit, ”the minister said on Tuesday.

Nagesh also said that he would bring a defamation case against Kumar and his family members for allegedly making unfounded charges. “I also have information that Kumar may have lost his mental balance. I think this is nothing more than a political conspiracy to take down a programmed caste leader, ”he said.

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The official in question is said to have been forced to take a license, although HT was unable to independently verify this. Efforts to reach Kumar on his mobile were also unsuccessful. Opposition parties have alleged that more than 600 transfers have been made to the excise department in the last month alone after taking bribes.

On Tuesday, Congress tweeted, “@ BJP4Karnataka Minister

@HNageshMulbagal has been demanding 1 Cr for sending officials, says complaint to supreme leaders. Do you have it in you to take it out of the cabinet or is PM @ narendramodi’s motto of “Na Khaunga, Na Khanedunga” just another one of his many jhumlas. “

Nagesh was one of two independent candidates who were elected in the assembly elections in May 2018. He initially joined Congress and the JDS and was appointed minister of small industries in the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy. Later, however, he switched sides and extended his support to the BJP to form the government in the state.

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