Following allegations that the the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) tried to “bribe” journalists by sending Rs 1 lakh cash gifts and sweet boxes on Diwali, CM Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday denied having any role in it and called it a part of “Congress’ toolkit”, news agency PTI reported.
On Saturday, the Congress alleged that the CM Bommai tried to “bribe” journalists by giving them cash gifts and demanded his resignation and registration of graft charges against him. The party also sought for judicial inquiry into the case.
“This is the result of Congress’ tool kit, they are trying to create a lie. I have not given any instructions to anyone (to give cash gifts),” he said, in response to a question regarding the Diwali gifts to scribes, as quoted by PTI.
Also Read: Congress demands Karnataka CM Bommai’s resignation over alleged Diwali ‘cash gifts’ to journalists
Speaking to reporters, Bommai said when the Congress party was in power, the gifts given to several people were “clearly known”, and the media had reported it, alleging that the party had given iPhones, laptops and gold coins.
“What morality do they (Congress) have? Above all, someone has filed a complaint in this regard to Lokayukta and Lokayukta will investigate. It is not right to interpret that the gifts were given or all journalists have taken it. Yesterday, a Congress spokesperson interpreted it very wrongly. I condemn it,” the CM added.
The CM reiterated that he had given no instructions to give any gifts to journalists and said that the matter is before the Karnataka Lokayukta. “Let the truth come out from the inquiry,” he said.
A non-government organisation ‘Janaadhikara Sanghasha Parishath’ has lodged a complaint with the Karnataka Lokayukta against the CM that he allegedly paid bribes to journalists disguised as Diwali gifts.
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The complainants R Adarsh Iyer, Prakash Babu B K and Vishwanath V B of the JSP said chief reporters of several media houses were paid bribes by the CM through his close aide. Some journalists informed higher authorities of their respective organisations and had returned the money, they said, reported PTI.