Karnataka MPs Including BJP MPs Get iPhone X Allegedly From State Minister Who Is Accused of Tax Evasion
The Karnataka Government found itself wrapped in another controversy after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rajeev Chandrashekar complained about the Government giving iPhones to all MPs from Karnataka.
The State Government allegedly gave away an iPhone X and a Moochies leather bag to all state MPs before their meeting with the union ministers regarding the Cauvery dispute. The meeting was held in the National Capital.
Rajeev Chandrashekhar, a Rajya Sabha BJP MP took to Twitter and criticized the Government for not paying the ‘Pourakarmikas’ (civic workers) and also informed that he will be returning the ‘gifts’. He tweeted,
U claim Austerity; pourkarmikas r being denied salaries, but pub money used 4 ths kind of expnsve gifts?
Im returng thm to u pic.twitter.com/0jZKhnXhuM
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar (@rajeev_mp) July 17, 2018
BJP Karnataka also joined Rajeev Chandrasekhar in slamming the Karnataka Govt. by tweeting:
Sri. @hd_kumaraswamy’s govt has enough money to gift expensive gadgets to MP’s but,
He can’t waive off loans of farmers.
He can’t provide free bus passes to students.
He can’t allocate funds for development of coastal & north Karnataka.
This govt is a shame on democracy. https://t.co/vGyBdMJ1ZW
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) July 17, 2018
Chandrasekhar also wrote to Karnataka Chief Minister, which reads, ”on the one hand you claim austerity measures, and we all know Pourakarmikas in Namma Bengaluru are not being paid Salaries and are in desperate straits, one Pourakarmika was even forced to commit suicide, farmers are in financial distress, and so it is unacceptable that public money would be misspent like this”, The News Minute reported.
Meanwhile, MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar made it clear in the letter that he will be returning his iPhones, he said, “My conscience does not permit me to accept this, and with due respect to you, I am sending this phone back to you. Instead, I urge you to pay the salaries of Pourakarmikas who tirelessly work to keep our city clean and focus on real austerity so that public money can be invested in those in need in our state.
In a domino effect, The Deccan Herald revealed that other BJP MPs like Ananth Kumar, Prahlad Joshi and PC Mohan also have agreed to return the ‘gifts’. Mr Joshi was quoted by it as saying, “there’s no need of giving any gifts to MPs. I have not opened the bag yet. If I find an iPhone in the kit, I will return it”.
Moreover, Joint Spokesperson of the BJP AH Anand said, “The party has taken a stance on the matter and decided to not accept the iPhone X which has been given to the MPs. With the farmers in distress across the state, such expensive gifts reflect poorly on both the person offering and the person accepting it”, The Times of India stated.
DK Shivakumar admits to giving iPhones
In the response, the Chief Minister mentioned he had no idea about any gifts being distributed and was quoted as saying, “I don’t know anything about the iPhones. It has not come to my notice. I have not asked anyone to give iPhones. I will inquire into this and then decide the further course of action.”
The Water Resources and Medical Education Minister DK Shivakumar within hours of the embarrassment admitted to giving the iPhones as part of a ‘goodwill gesture’, The New Indian Express noted.
“I sent the phones out of goodwill so that we are able to communicate with MPs speedily. Those who want to find fault will always find fault. The bag was given by us but the phone was my personal addition”, he informed the media.
The Quint quoted him when he said, “I’m not giving any bribe….it was only for sharing and feeding of information…it is out of a gesture. I don’t want to tell names, but BJP MPs have called me and thanked me….like last time this time also some have taken and some have not.”
“Previously also, when I was the power minister I had given iPads to the MPs. Hang me, if I have done anything wrong. We are not stealing from someone and give it to them, The Times of India reported.
Reportedly, DK Shivakumar is under scrutiny by the Income Tax department over cases of tax evasion.