Siddaramaiah gifted luxury car, Congress denies reports

Bengaluru: Even as the Congress in Karnataka is facing a political crisis, Siddaramaiah has landed in a controversy after media reports claimed that he was gifted Mercedes-Benz car, worth over Rs 1.5 crore, by his party legislator.   

Reports allege that Byrathi Suresh, an agriculturist-cum industrialist, had gifted the former Karnataka chief minister the car. For the 2017 May assembly polls, the industrialist had declared assets of Rs 416 crore in an affidavit filed by him.

This is not the first time that Siddaramaiah is facing such charge. In 2016, he was reportedly gifted a Rs 70 lakh worth diamond-studded Hublot watch, but he later handed over the watch to the then assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa amid an uproar in the House and declared it a state asset. Likewise, in 2018, then minister K J George allegedly gifted him Toyota Land Cruiser with fuel coupons for a year.

The BJP hit out at Siddaramaiah and accused him of having made enough and more money during his 10 per cent government.

“Congress MLA Byrathi Suresh gifts Sri @siddaramaiah a Mercedes-Benz car worth 1.5 crore. Wears spectacle costing 2 Lakh. Wore 80 lakh worth hublot watch. Siddaramaiah vere looks like you have made enough & more money during your 10% govt,” the BJP tweeted.

Congress leader D K Shivakumar, however, denied the charges and said the car was given for Siddaramaiah’s traveling purpose and it was a gift from Suresh.

He added that they sometimes take friends’ vehicle to travel and there was no issue in it. He added that there was no record that the car was a gift.

NT Bureau