Karnataka: Controversy sparks after MPs get iPhones, Kumaraswamy 'was unaware'
In Karnataka, new iPhones gifted to MPs by a Congress minister has sparked a new political controversy with Bharatiya Janata Party calling it a waste of public money. As the coalition government got slammed for its expensive gifts, Kumaraswamy said he wasn't aware of it. Meanwhile, DK Shivakumar, who gave the gifts, said it was a gesture because MPs are fighting Karnataka's battle.
The iPhones were given to 40 MPs ahead of a meeting convened to discuss important matters of the state, including Cauvery issue. But more than the meeting, the high-price gifts caught attention. BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar returned the gift and instead asked the CM to pay salaries to civic workers in Bengaluru. Chandrasekhar urged the CM to focus on real issues of the state.
Dear @CMofKarnataka @hd_kumaraswamy - Thnk u 4 convng all MPs tmrw to discuss Cauvery issue. But why is ur govt sendng expnsve phones to MPs?— Rajeev Chandrasekhar (@rajeev_mp) July 17, 2018
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
Taking potshots at Kumaraswamy, BJP Karnataka pointed out in a tweet that the Chief Minister didn't waive off farmer loans or give free passes to students. "This govt is a shame on democracy," the tweet read. Defending himself, the CM said he didn't give directions on such gifts. When asked how the action was taken without his consent, Kumaraswamy said he will inquire about it.
"I'm not giving any bribe....it was only for sharing and feeding of information. 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," said DK Shivakumar.
Meanwhile, days after he broke down addressing JD(S) members and equated being the CM to drinking poison, Kumaraswamy said his words were twisted to create a controversy. "Why are twisting news and playing it? I've not made any mistake and worked for people," Kumaraswamy reportedly said. After his emotional speech, Congress had told Kumaraswamy to be courageous and stay happy.