The Karnataka Valmiki Society Scam: A Political Whirlwind

Senior BJP leader B Sriramulu on Thursday alleged that scammers from the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation had trapped government and bank officials to siphon off money.

The former minister alleged that high-end luxury cars were purchased with the money meant for the welfare of tribals. The money was laundered and used in various elections, including the Lok Sabha, he added.

The fraudsters bought a Lamborghini car with Valmiki Corporation funds, diverted money through ‘hawala’ channels and spent it on elections, Sriramulu claimed at a press conference here.

Former minister Narasimha Nayak (Raju Gowda) alleged that the state government played a dubious role in the scam.

We all know that more than Rs 300 crore cannot be transferred without the approval of the finance minister, but in a single day, Rs 50 crore was transferred. It is surprising that no one in the government was aware of this, Nayak pointed out.

According to the BJP leader, the money was transferred to the accounts of 16 businessmen. The amount transferred was between Rs 4.12 billion and Rs 5.98 billion.

The two BJP leaders demanded the arrest of Congress MLA B Nagendra who resigned as tribal welfare minister after the scam came to light.

The alleged scam came to light when the company’s Superintendent of Accounts Chandrasekharan P committed suicide on May 26 and left a suicide note alleging that a sum of Rs 187 crore had been illegally transferred from the company.

This includes Rs 88.62 crore illegally credited to various accounts of some IT companies and a Hyderabad-based cooperative bank, official sources said.

The Congress government then constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has so far arrested 11 people in connection with the case.

The SIT has questioned Nagendra and Corporation Chairman Basanagouda Daddal. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate of the central government agency on Wednesday conducted raids at several locations in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana allegedly linked to Nagendra and Daddal.

(Disclaimer: With contributions from agencies.)