H.S. Doreswamy and T.J. Abraham write to Rahul Gandhi, Siddaramaiah

As the Congress inches closer to finalising the list of MLAs for Cabinet positions, pressure is mounting on the party from various quarters to leave out elected representatives who are facing charges of corruption.

Leading the pack, which is seeking a “clean government”, freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy has written a letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asking him to keep D.K. Shivakumar, Santosh Lad and Anil Lad out of the Cabinet. Mr. Doreswamy said that these three MLAs have been accused of being involved in the illegal iron ore mining scam. He said that the Congress, which fought against illegal mining, should set an example by distancing itself from those MLAs who are accused in the scam.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s order cancelling mining leases held by Lad brothers after it found that large-scale irregularities had been committed in these mines, he said: “Do not insult the Supreme Court by appointing these people in the Cabinet.” Choosing a no-frills approach, the nonagenarian wrote the letter in a plain postcard.

Mr. Doreswamy’s letter assumes significance given that he was one of the prominent persons from whom Mr. Siddaramaiah sought blessings after he was chosen to lead the Congress in the Legislative Assembly. The freedom fighter was also part of a group of intellectuals and litterateurs who asked the people to vote for the Congress and abandon the BJP in the lead up to the polls.

Activist T.J. Abraham, in a letter to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said: “Kindly do not let the people feel that the State has only jumped from into the fire from the frying pan. Apart from D.K. Shivakumar and the Lad brothers, Mr. Abraham also listed out other MLAs who have cases against them in the Lokayukta Court. Among those mentioned are M. Krishnappa and his son Priya Krishna, Baburao Chinchansoor, R.V. Deshpande, Krishna Byregowda, T.B. Jaychandra and Ramalinga Reddy.

Mr. Abraham said: “Will the image and administration of the Congress be any different from the BJP if tainted persons are made Ministers, even after the subject has been brought to your notice?” Another letter listing out 17 MLAs with serious criminal charges was written to Siddaramaiah by Trilochan Sastry on behalf of the Karnataka Election Watch. The letter urged him to “not to make such MLAs as Ministers or give them any office like chairmanship of any government organisation”.

The criminal records of the 17 MLAs include causing death by negligence, criminal intimidation, forgery, causing disappearance of evidence of offence, breach of trust by a public servant, cheating and illegal payments in connection with an election. The 17 MLAs mentioned are: Vijayanand Kashappanavar, B.M. Nagaraj, D. Sudhakara, Y.Y. Patil, B.A. Basavaraja, Qamar-ul-Islam, Ajay Dharm Singh, Umashree, S.P.R. Patil, S. Rafeeq Ahmed, S.S. Mallikarjun, D.K. Shivakumar, R.M. Lamani, Umesh G. Jadav, G. Hampayya, Jagadish Patil and Munirathna.