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Bommai govt takes 30% cut from grants for mutts, alleges top Lingayat seer

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Bengaluru: Stirring up controversy, a Lingayat seer has alleged that mutts (monasteries) are equally affected due to rampant corruption prevailing in Karnataka as they too pay a commission of 30 per cent to get the sanctioned grants released for them.

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While participating in a rally, Swamiji said the government doesn’t spare religious mutts as well. “The ruling BJP not only takes a commission from contractors, that it even takes 35% commission from religious seers,” he said.

The seer was participating in a tractor rally organised by senior Congress leader SR Patil.

He alleged that mutts are forced to pay 30% of the funds that are released for development works at the mutts as a commission.

“The officers directly tell us about the commission. If ice cream is granted in New Delhi or Bengaluru, by the time it reaches north Karnataka, only the stick will remain,” he alleged.

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Following this statement, Congress MLA Dinesh Gundurao said that if Swamijis are also not spared by the government, who is not affected by the government’s corruption. “As I have always said, in the name of God, the BJP is looting the state and getting the votes of the people, and even in grants which they proudly announce for these mutts they are taking a commission and looting money,” said Gundurao.

“This shows that there is no real commitment to anything. Grabbing power and money is their only criteria, and for that, unfortunately, they are using Hindutva and Hindu religion,” he added.

Reacting to the seer, Karnataka agriculture minister BC Patil said that the seer should have protested before giving a bribe. “He is talking like a Congress worker. Earlier he supported former CM BS Yediyurappa… he has now shown his chameleon nature,” the minister said.

A case was registered against Eshwarappa for abetment of suicide over the death of Santosh Patil, a civilian contractor in Udupi. Eshwarappa was named as the first accused in the case.

The FIR was registered following a complaint by Prashanth Patil, brother of contractor Santosh Patil, who had levelled bribery charges against Eshwarappa.

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Santosh was found dead at a lodge in Udupi on Tuesday, April 12, in a suspected case of suicide. The complaint filed by Prashanth named Eshwarappa and his staff members Ramesh and Basavaraj as the accused.

Before his death, Patil allegedly sent a WhatsApp message to his friends stating his intention to take his life, and blaming Eshwarappa for the extreme step. The police are verifying the authenticity of the suicide note through forensics.

“Eshwarappa is responsible for my death. He has to be punished. I’ve suppressed all my desires and [am] doing this. I request PM, CM and Yediyurappa to take care of my family,” Patil purportedly wrote in the WhatsApp message.

In the complaint, the victim’s brother, Prashanth Patil, said that in the year 2020-21, residents of Hindalga village had called on Eshwarappa in the state capital Bengaluru and requested him to lay roads, construct storm water drains and pavement in the hamlet.

He further stated that Eshwarappa gave the nod to start work without worrying about the budget, following which Santosh Patil was awarded the contract. The complainant contended that his brother had undertaken work worth Rs 4 crore in the village.

A few weeks ago, Patil had written a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in which he alleged that Eshwarappa had not cleared outstanding bills. He accused the BJP leader of lies, corruption and irregularities, and urged PM Modi to direct Eshwarappa to settle his bills.

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Eshwarappa initially denied the allegations and retaliated by filing a defamation case against Patil for levelling ‘baseless’ charges.

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