Karnataka: Seer claims BJP govt taking 30% commission from grants for mutts

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai 

A Lingayat seer has claimed that the BJP government in Karnataka is taking a 30 per cent cut from the grants set aside for the welfare and development of mutts. The claim was made by Dingaleshwara Swami.

Dingaleshwara Swami had led a delegation of over two dozen seers across the state to extend support to BJP leader and Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa when he quit as the Chief Minister last year.

According to Dingaleshwara Swami, government officials cut 30 per cent commission before releasing funds. He alleged that officials say that the fund will not be released if “we don’t agree to the cut”.

“The ruling BJP not only takes a commission from contractors, it even takes 35 per cent commission from religious seers. Corruption has reached this level. The officials say that funds cannot be released until the commission is paid,” the seer said on Monday while speaking at the Sankalpa Yatra programme in Bagalkot district.

“For cities like Delhi and Bengaluru, funds are like ice creams but by the time they reach north Karnataka, we get only ice-cream sticks,” Dingaleshwara Swami said.

“Everyone knows what’s happening, even if a grant was given to Swamiji (seer of mutt) it is given only after a 30 per cent commission is cut,” he added.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has taken note of the seer’s allegations and assured that he will “get to the bottom of the case”. He said that a thorough investigation would be done if the seer provides the details.

“A thorough probe would be conducted if Dingaleshwara Swamiji provides details on his statement on paying commission for getting a government grant,” Bommai said.

“Dingaleshwara Swamiji is a revered seer, a mahatma. It is not enough if the head of a Mutt just issues a statement. If he could provide details as to who demanded the commission, to whom it was paid, how much was paid and all the related details then I ensure a thorough investigation will be done,” the CM added.

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