The power of diary: Allegations of kickback force Siddu govt to cancel steel flyover

The power of diary: Allegations of kickback force Siddu govt to cancel steel flyover

Submitted by Rashmi on Thu, 2017-03-02 13:41 Bengaluru: In a major U-turn, the state government has decided to drop the idea to carry out the steel bridge amid allegations of kickbacks levelled against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by BJP State president BS Yeddyurappa.At a meeting convened to discuss drinking water issue at Vidhana Soudha here on Thursday, Bengaluru Development Minister stated that he was hurt by the allegations of kickbacks levelled against him and the government by BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa.In view of these allegations, it is better to drop the project, said Minister George.“The steel flyover was proposed for the betterment of the city. But the opposition parties have played politics in this regard. I have not taken a single rupee in the project. I’m pained at these allegations. It is better to drop the project when there is so much opposition to it,” said George.In fact, at the meeting Congress City legislators NA Harris and Muniratna Naidu also strongly opposed the steel bridge. They told minister George – who was chairing the meeting – that the city wards are suffering from severe water crisis and they want the government to prioritise drinking water over the steel bridge. “Every single day, we have to hear allegations with regard to the steel bridge and we are not able to answer people in our wards. It is better for the government to forego the project and initiate measures to arrest drinking water crisis in the city,” they said.Minister George who looked shocked at the Congress legislators’ opinion, stated that it is their opinion. “I’m also pained by the allegations of kickbacks levelled against me and the government. It hurts. There is a limit to tolerate,” George said.It may be recalled here that the former chief minister Yeddyurappa – quoting the diary of MLC Govindaraju which allegedly mentions the kickbacks received by Congress leaders including Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and others – has been claiming that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and a few leaders of his cabinet have received bribe to push the steel flyover project. He even went on to say that Rs 65 crore has been provided as kickbacks to Siddaramaiah family to favour the project. While this has left the Congress government embarrassed, it has been putting up a brave front by countering it with the diary of former BJP MLC Lehar Singh. However, with Assembly elections impending, the Congress government has decided to shelve the project to counter the BJP, sources said.The proposed steel bridge has witnessed severe opposition from various sections of the society. Bengalureans have been protesting against Rs 1853 crore project in every possible ways – signature campaign, tree hugging campaign and even with #Steelflyoverbeda campaign on twitter. Following a petition filed by The Namma Bengaluru Foundation, the National Green Tribunal had stayed the project. The steel bridge is expected to reduce traffic congestion from Chalukya Circle to Hebbal.As news channels began beaming the news, twittaratis have thanked the government and those who fought for it.