PSI exam scam: Congress trains guns on Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan

Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan says baseless allegations are being levelled against him to tarnish his image on the eve of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Karnataka

Updated - May 03, 2022 10:48 am IST

Published - May 02, 2022 10:17 pm IST - Bengaluru

Karnataka Minister of Higher Education, IT/BT, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood C.N.Ashwath Narayan

Karnataka Minister of Higher Education, IT/BT, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood C.N.Ashwath Narayan | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Ahead of Union Home Minister and BJP’s key strategist Amit Shah’s visit to the State, the episode of alleged irregularities in the recruitment of police sub-inspectors took a new twist with the Opposition Congress accusing Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan and his brother of being involved in the irregularities and demanding the resignation of both Mr. Ashwath Narayan and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra.

The Congress has also demanded a judicial probe to unearth the truth.

While KPCC president D. K. Shivakumar launched a scathing attack on Mr. Ashwath Narayan without taking his name, senior Congress leader V. S. Ugrappa directly accused him of being involved in the recruitment scam.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Ugrappa said that three candidates who have been selected for PSI posts were from Magadi taluk, the native place of the Minister and also the taluk that comes in Ramanagaram district for which Mr. Ashwath Narayan is in-charge.

He alleged that the Minister’s brother, Satish, had allegedly received a bribe of ₹80 lakh from a candidate, Darshan V. Gowda, who was selected for the job. Why is Mr. Ashwath Narayan, who speaks about manhood silent about the scam? the Congress leader asked, in an obvious reference to the Minister’s earlier spat with Congress leaders in which he had referred to manhood. He remarked that “the needle of suspicion is pointing towards Mr. Ashwath Narayan and his brother Satish”.

Earlier, Mr. Shivakumar alleged that “it’s not only the Minister’s brother, but the Minister himself is involved in the recruitment scam”. Three selected candidates sold their properties to pay bribes and the whole village knew about it. With the influence of some people, a candidate had been freed from the police interrogation, he alleged. He urged the Chief Minister to act against those involved in the scam irrespective of their political affiliations.

Mr. Ugrappa also accused Mr. Ashwath Narayan of having a role in the irregularities in the recruitment of assistant professors in government colleges.

On his part, Mr. Ashwath Narayan termed the accusations levelled against him by Congress leaders as baseless and said he would take legal action for making allegations against him without evidence.

“The Congress leaders have intentionally plotted this at the time when Union Home Minister is arriving in the city”, he charged.

“I have not recommended any candidate to be appointed. Those who are making allegations are indulging in issuing vague statements,” he said. Being intolerant of my pro-developmental approach, Mr. Shivakumar was engaged in fabricating stories. But the truth would be revealed if they were examined and any one was free to verify them, he challenged.

“There is no question of misuse of office either by me or my family members. However, some have lost human sensitivity after entering politics. But, It will be impossible to blemish my image,” Mr. Ashwath Narayan remarked.

“It is true that I have an elder brother by name Satish. But, he has not done anything wrong. Our family  always stood against corruption and will remain so in the future also. Being intolerant of my transparent attitude opponents are making vain attempts to tarnish my image,” he said.

If the accusations now made by Mr. Ugrappa were to be treated as true, then, the statement he made a few days ago, calling his own party president Mr. Shivakumar an utter corrupt should also be accepted as true, Mr. Ashwath Narayan lambasted.

It may be noted that following malpractices in the PSI recruitment examination in various centres, the State Government annulled the selection list of candidates and ordered re-examination, besides deciding to go in for a CID probe.

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