ACB was constituted in Karnataka after bribery was unearthed in former Lokayukta’s office, says Siddaramaiah

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had welcomed the Karnataka High Court’s order setting aside constitution of the ACB and restoring the power of Lokayukta police to probe graft cases against public servants

August 26, 2022 05:26 pm | Updated 05:26 pm IST - MYSURU

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a ‘Meet the Press’ programme in Mysuru on August 26, 2022.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a ‘Meet the Press’ programme in Mysuru on August 26, 2022. | Photo Credit: M A Sriram

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government constituted the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) after the son of the then Lokayukta was caught running a bribery racket.

Recently, Karnataka High Court abolished the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Participating in a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by Mysuru District Journalists’ Association (MDJA) in Mysuru on August 26, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the son of former Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao was involved in a bribery racket, forcing the then government to constitute a separate wing for investigation. Such a separate investigation wing for the anti-corruption ombudsman exists in many other States in India, including Gujarat.

He had welcomed the High Court’s order setting aside constitution of the ACB and restoring the power of Lokayukta police to probe graft cases against public servants.

‘Expenses in Karnataka more than revenue’

Alleging financial mismanagement, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the Karnataka Government had gone into a revenue deficit – where expenditure is more than income – despite running up huge debts.

Karnataka’s debt burden from independence to 2018 was ₹2.42 lakh crore. But, now the figure is ₹5.4 lakh crore. This year, the State has to pay a total of ₹43,000 crore, including ₹29,000 crore in interest and ₹14,000 crore in principal. This amount is part of the committed expenditure of the State that includes payment of salaries, pension and subsidy.

“There is no development,” he said while adding that the State has slipped into a revenue deficit. “As long as I was handling the finances, we never went into revenue deficit. We were always revenue surplus — when revenue was more than expenses,” he said.

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