Mysuru; Alleging rampant corruption in the Finance Department, which portfolio is currently held by the Chief Minister, BJP MLC A.H. Vishwanath said that CM Basavaraj Bommai should hand over the portfolio to some other able member of his Cabinet.
Addressing a press meet here recently, Vishwanath said that the CM currently holds as many as 8 to 10 portfolios, including the all important Finance portfolio. But the Finance Department is mired in corruption under his very nose, he maintained and demanded that the portfolio be handed over to another Minister for better administration.
Citing the example of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which have a separate Finance Minister, the MLC reminded that even our very own D. Devaraj Urs could not handle the portfolio and gave it to one of his Cabinet colleagues.
Alleging that rampant corruption is going on in the Commercial Tax Department as well, he said he was opposed to the imposition of a high GST even for tobacco products, which has led to their smuggling. It is a matter of concern that the Finance and Commercial Tax Departments, which are the major source of revenue earnings, have become centres of corruption, he added.
Referring to the controversy surrounding education in the State, Vishwanath regretted the attempts to saffronise education. “As a Primary Education Minister in the S.M. Krishna Cabinet, I had introduced ‘Samudayadatta Shaale’ initiative aimed at reaching out to the public, when an entire team of officials would stay in a village or town. But now attempts are being made to saffronise education,” he said while questioning what purpose would be served by painting Viveka classrooms in saffron colour.
Referring to the appointment of Vice-Chancellors (VCs) to Universities, he said that 9 new Universities are being set up in the State. Claiming that a situation has arose where an aspirant has to give Rs. 5 crore for appointment as a VC, the MLC said that this will lead to rampant corruption in higher education. He demanded that the Government should withdraw the powers given to VCs regarding appointments and construction of buildings, which are the sources for corruption.