Two recent events have damaged BJP in Karnataka. First was contractor Santosh Patil’s suicide. Second was statement by Dingaleshwar Swamiji of Balehosur Mutt that 30% commission is demanded from mutts to get their money.
Santosh Patil was a BJP member. He had accused Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Eshwarappa’s aides of demanding 40% commission to clear his dues. He had complained to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh that he was not paid 4 crore rupees for the work done in Hindalga village and bribe demand. He had written a letter to Narendra Modi about bribe demand and had accused Eshwarappa of lies, corruption and irregularities. Before his death he sent WhatsApp message blaming Eshwarappa for his death. He was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on 11/4/2022. Eshwarappa resigned on 15/4/2022.
On 14/4/2022 there was a report of members of Karnataka State Contractors Association threatening to go on strike if pending dues of 25,000 crore rupees are not paid. They had also written to PM Narendra Modi but got no response. They had met CM Basavaraj Bommai and put forth their demands. He assured them of addressing the issue but did not do so.
Dingaleshwar Swamiji on 17/4/2022 while addressing a rally in Badagandi village in Bagalakote District said “If a grant is sanctioned for a swami, it reaches the mutt after 30% deduction. That is the plain truth. Officials clearly tell you that unless the amount is deducted, your project will not start.”
Basavaraj Bommai responded “He is a great Swamiji with a great track record. The entire state knows this. I only request His Holiness to give the entire details as to who paid, for what purpose it was paid and whom it was paid to. We will certainly inquire and go into the depth of the case. We consider his allegation very seriously.”
There were allegations of corruptions against BJP leaders before. It seems corruption has increased in recent times with rates touching 30% or 40%. It is 40% for contractors. For mutts there is 10% discount in bribe rate.
Modi’s words against corruption and dynastic rule sound hollow. Basavaraj Bommai is son of S. R. Bommai who was a member of Janata Party and Karnataka CM in 1988-1989. Santosh Patil and KSCA had written to Modi and he did not respond.