Mysuru: Opposition Party Leader and Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that I don’t understand why people keep discussing the Hublot watch row which has been settled. The issue was probed and I have promptly returned the watch to the State Government.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Thursday May 5, he said that the watch was gifted to me by one Dr. Verma and JD (S) Leader H. D. Kumaraswamy is trying to add colour to it. There is nothing hanky-panky about it as complained by Kumaraswamy.
It may be recalled that in February 2016, Siddaramaiah had been mired in controversy over a Rs. 70 lakh worth diamond-studded Hublot watch gifted to him. He later handed over the watch to the then Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa amid uproar in the Assembly, declaring it a State asset. Countering the allegations of Opposition, Siddaramaiah had said that the pre-owned “HUBLOT BIG BANG-301-M” wrist watch was presented to him by his Dubai-based NRI friend Dr. Girish Chandra Varma as a personal gift. Siddaramiah had also said Varma had no official dealings with the Government of Karnataka or its organisations.
To another question pertaining to the Police Sub-Inspectors’ (PSIs) recruitment scam, he was of the opinion that there should be a judicial inquiry to unravel the mystery. “The Additional Director General of Police is accused of corruption. When that is the case, how can we expect a proper investigation by CID? A Karnataka High Court judge should investigate the issue.”
He said, “Ministers have been accused of corrupt practices. Only middlemen have been arrested so far. Minister for Higher Education Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayan’s men are also under the scanner. There is no proper investigation. Judicial probe alone can fix the guilty.”
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah slammed CID for issuing a notice to Congress MLA Priyank Kharge, saying it has no authority to do so.