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BJP MP Returns Karnataka Govt’s iPhone X Gift, Questions Kumaraswamy’s Austerity Drive

The allegation comes close on the heels of the suicide of a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) worker, who had allegedly not been paid salary for close to six months.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2018, 6:17 PM IST
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BJP MP Returns Karnataka Govt’s iPhone X Gift, Questions Kumaraswamy’s Austerity Drive
File photo of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. (PTI)

Bengaluru: A day before HD Kumaraswamy is scheduled to meet all Karnataka MPs on state-related issues, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekar has “returned” an iPhone X that was allegedly gifted to him by the chief minister.

Chandrashekar, in a tweet, criticised HD Kumaraswamy and questioned the state government for sending expensive phones amid its calls for austerity. He further asked why public money was used to send expensive gifts at a time when civic workers were being denied salaries.

The BJP MP, in a letter to the Chief Minister, claimed that he received an "expensive Apple iPhone which costs more than Rs 1 lakh".

The allegation comes close on the heels of the suicide of a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) worker, who had allegedly not been paid salary for close to six months.

The BJP MP’s allegations have left Kumaraswamy red-faced as the CM had announced an austerity drive after assuming office last month.

Senior Congress leader and water resource minister D K Shivakumar came to the defence of the CM and said he was the one who instructed officials to gift iPhones to all Karnataka MPs, adding that there was nothing wrong in gifting iPhones to state MPs. He said that the iPhones were given by him personally and were not a not a gift from the government.

Shivakumar, however, claimed that Kumaraswamy was not aware of his decision.

The Chief Minister, who left to Delhi earlier today, also denied any knowledge of the gifts.

"I do not have any such information. The government is not aware of this. No matter related to giving phones came before me. I do not know who gave it. I had not given any instruction to do so. I do not know if anybody has given them unofficially," he said.

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| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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