Karnataka minister aide detained, released after cheating complaint by BSY son

Rajanna, 42, a close associate of Social Welfare Minister B Sreeramulu, was detained Thursday night after Vijayendra, who is also state BJP vice-president, accused him of using his name to cheat unnamed people of funds.

A close associate of a minister in the Karnataka BJP government was detained by the Bengaluru Crime Branch after a cheating complaint by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra—and was let off Friday with the minister saying he would speak with the CM.

Rajanna, 42, a close associate of Social Welfare Minister B Sreeramulu, was detained Thursday night after Vijayendra, who is also state BJP vice-president, accused him of using his name to cheat unnamed people of funds.

“The accused person misused the complainant’s name to get a job done by receiving illegal gratification. The complainant also stated that he does not know the said accused nor he has anything to do with him hence the complainant requested to take necessary action against all the persons concerned,” the police said in a June 28 FIR registered on Vijayendra’s complaint.

Initially, the minister’s aide was reported as being arrested for cheating the chief minister’s son. Crime branch chief Sandeep Patil later stated that Rajanna was only detained for questioning.

“Rajanna was detained for questioning. His voice sample has been taken. It is being sent to FSL for matching with audio clippings available. Further investigation is being done. He has been given a notice to appear when summoned again,” he said.

The exact nature of the cheating incident that was alleged by the Chief Minister’s son and the names of people who were cheated were not provided by the police but rumours suggested a situation in the government where the CM’s son’s name was used to collect illegal funds.

“It has come to my knowledge that a person has misused my name on many occasions to cheat people and has received money by luring them with false promises. As soon as it came to my notice, I lodged a police complaint and requested to take appropriate action as per the law,” Vijayendra said on social media regarding the incident.

Minister Sreeramulu said he was alerted to the Rajanna situation only after he was arrested. “The boy is known to be and has been with me for a long time. If I had been informed he could have been warned and corrected,” he said.

“I only got to know about the incidents and allegations against Rajanna through the media. I will talk to Vijayendra and also with the Chief Minister. Whoever has made a mistake should be punished under the law,” Sreeramulu said during the day.

Sreeramulu is a minister from the Ballari region of Karnataka and was part of the BJP’s Reddy group from Ballari – which ruled the roost in the state during Yediyurappa’s first tenure as chief minister of the state between 2008-2011.

At the height of their political rise the Reddy brothers and Sreeramulu rocked Yediyurappa’s government with dissidence activities in a power struggle for control of the iron ore-rich Ballari region.

The Reddy group lost its standing after its lynchpin Janardhan Reddy, and many of his associates, were arrested by the CBI for running an illegal mining racket in Ballari.

Sreeramulu — the political force behind the Reddy group on account of his clout among the ST Valmiki Nayak community in Ballari — has managed to retain some amount of political ground on account of his standing as an ST leader.

The arrest of the close aide of the social welfare minister on the basis of a complaint by the chief minister’s son for misuse of the name of the CM’s son has raised questions on the functioning of the government and the lack of trust among those running the government.

“This BJP is running a 20-25% government. Nothing moves forward in this government without a commission. B Y Vijayendra is de facto CM of Karnataka and B S Yediyurappa is de jure CM,” former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said in a reaction to the episode.

“It is not enough if only the assistant is arrested. There should be an investigation about the money trail also. Who asked him to collect and to whom did he give the money? There should be an investigation on B Y Vijayendra also,” Siddaramaiah said .

“It is unfortunate that Sriramulu is supporting his PA in the fraud case. This clearly shows that he is the brain behind the negotiations. There should be investigations about the role of Sriramulu also,” the former chief minister said.

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