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K’taka: Contractors seek Ex-CM Yediyurappa’s support

The tug-of-war between the Congress government and contractors in Karnataka is escalating each passing day.
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: Karnataka Contractors seek ex-CM Yediyurappa’s support over pending bills. The tug-of-war between the Congress government and contractors in Karnataka is escalating with each passing day.

The contractors who are on a war path against the state government met former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday and requested him to support them to get their pending bills cleared.

The delegation of the State Contractors’ Association met Yediyurappa at his residence here and sought his cooperation and support for their agitation against Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar.

The contractors have alleged that Shivakumar is demanding 15 percent cut in the pending bills and they have also complained about this to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot.

They even challenged Shivakumar to take a pledge before his family deity over the commission charges.

According to K.T. Manjunath, President of BBMP Contractors’ Association, many projects have been taken up and completed in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike limits and also in other Assembly constituencies.

But Shivakumar stopped paying the bills and formed a team to investigate the matter and submit a report on the execution of projects by the contractors, Manjunath said.

The contractors are not in a position to wait until the report is submitted, he said.

Many of them have also written to the Prime Minister and the President to grant them mercy killing instead of delaying their payments.

Yediyurappa is yet to make a public statement in this regard.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that State Contractors’ Association President Kempanna, who had waged a war against the previous BJP government alleging that it demanded 40 percent commission in all bills, is now maintaining that the contractors have fallen into the fire from the frying pan.

Kempanna had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, while the Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, made it a big issue in the run-up to the Assembly elections.

“You (Congress leaders) made ’40 percent commission’ allegation a weapon and came to power. Now you have dumped Kempanna,” Kumaraswamy said.

Meanwhile, reacting to contractors meeting Yediyurappa, Shivakumar said that “Let them meet anyone… It cannot be prevented”.

“I hope their struggle gets results. We are observing everything and carrying out administrative work with discretion and will continue doing it,” he said.

Shivakumar had earlier said that he can’t be blackmailed by the contractors and he knew who was behind them.

“The bills for executed works amount to Rs 25,000 crore while the available funds are Rs 600 crore. The bills can’t be sanctioned in a day or two. We have got complaints that bills have been produced for bogus works, and the government will clear the pending bills only for works genuinely carried out,” he had said.

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