Valmiki corporation scam: Sriramulu demands arrest of Nagendra and says ED raids could throw more light

A delegation of BJP ST leaders will visit Delhi to petition the National ST Commission on the alleged fraud, former Minister says

Updated - July 11, 2024 08:04 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2024 02:19 pm IST - BENGALURU

A file photo of BJP leader and former minister B. Sriramulu.

A file photo of BJP leader and former minister B. Sriramulu. | Photo Credit: SRIDHAR KAVALI

 

Former Minister B. Sriramulu on Thursday demanded the immediate arrest of B. Nagendra, who quit as ST Welfare Minister in the wake of alleged financial irregularities in the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki ST Development Corporation.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday, July 11, Mr. Sriramulu argued that it was not enough on the part of the government to just accept the resignation of Mr. Nagendra and desist from proceeding further against him. “The former Minister should be arrested and brought to book. Also, Nagendra should quit as an MLA if he has any dignity left in him,” Mr. Sriramulu said.

A delegation of ST leaders from the BJP, including himself, would visit Delhi to file a complaint in this regard before the National ST Commission, he said.

Mr. Sriramulu alleged that ₹80 lakh from funds meant for ST welfare had been illegally transferred to the account of Mr. Nagendra’s personal assistant B.A. Harish.

Welcoming the Enforcement Directorate’s raids on Mr. Nagendra’s residence and various other locations, Mr. Sriramulu hoped that the raids would throw more light on the scam. “Let us wait to see what the ED raids will bring out,” he said while maintaining that the ED would not have come into the picture if the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the alleged irregularities, had done a good job.

He alleged that funds from the corporation had been diverted to buy a Lamborghini car and to meet the expenses of the recent Lok Sabha elections by a few vested interests.

He urged the SIT to file an FIR against Mr. Nagendra and to take steps to bring back ₹187 crore that was allegedly illegally transferred out of the ST development corporation.

The BJP, he said, would not give up till the government recovers all the money. He urged the government to find out if there is any similar case of embezzlement of funds in other corporations.

Former Minister Raju Gowda expressed concern that the government was able to recover only ₹24 crore so far though a total of ₹187 crore had allegedly been siphoned off. He described the alleged embezzlement as a heinous crime.

He urged the 14 Congress MLAs from ST communities to show their commitment to the welfare of the oppressed sections by raising their voice against the alleged financial irregularities.

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