Tribal welfare board scam: Misuse of funds by officers, says K’taka Dy CM

Bengaluru:  Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Tuesday admitted that the misuse and misappropriation of funds in the tribal welfare board had taken place.

Speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar said, “It is true that there is misuse and misappropriation of funds in the tribal welfare board by the officers. We have spoken in this regard with our ministers. They have clarified that they are not involved in any of the acts. One of our ministers has voluntarily resigned as it is not good to face an investigation being a minister. I came to know that a notice had been issued to him to appear before the authorities. I won’t interfere, let them conduct an investigation.”

“There is no involvement of our ministers and legislators and there is involvement of others. We are for conducting a free and fair investigation,” Shivakumar claimed.

Meanwhile, an audio clip allegedly belonging to the board’s Managing Director, seventh accused Padmanabh and accountant, eighth accused Parashuram has emerged. In the audio clip, Parashuram is heard saying they should bring the matter to the notice of the Chairman of the board, Congress MLA Basavaraja Daddal. Padmanabh replies that it would create a ruckus if told now and asks him to keep quiet for some more days.

Padmanabh also says that he “was under pressure from the minister and his personal assistant and hence it was done”.

The BJP is alleging direct involvement of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the scam. The has alleged that the Rs 187 crore funds of the tribal welfare board were used to fund elections in Telangana and other states.

The scam had come out after the suicide of senior officer Chandrasekaran. He had left a death note alleging that senior officials had forced him to open a parallel account to divert money from the Corporation’s primary account, based on “oral instructions by a minister”.


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