Bengaluru, 3rd March 2023: MLA Madal Virupakshappa has resigned from the board of Karnataka Soap and Detergents Limited (KSDL) following the arrest of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa’s son Prashant Kumar Madal in a bribery case by the Lokayukta’s Anti-Corruption Branch in Bengaluru. Lokayukta officials had arrested Prashant Mandal for accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh.
Karnataka Lokayukta BS Patil said that when the Lokayukta police raided his office, they recovered Rs 2.2 crore. After this, when they raided the residence, they recovered Rs 6.10 crore. Five people have been arrested in this case. An FIR has been registered.
In a letter to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa said that a conspiracy is being hatched against his family. “I am resigning from the board under moral responsibility as allegations are being levelled against me. Lokayukta officials had recovered over Rs 1.7 crore in cash from Prashant’s office,” he wrote.
Madal Virupakshappa’s troubles have increased after Lokayukta officials caught his son accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh and recovered Rs six crore in cash from his house. Virupakshappa, MLA from Channagiri in Davangere district, is the chairman of the state-owned Karnataka Soap and Detergent Limited. His son Prashant Madal is the Chief Accountant in the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
On this matter, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the trap is proof that the Lokayukta has been revived to check corruption, unlike the previous Congress government. It had created a separate anti-corruption bureau apart from the institution of Lokayukta to cover up its wrongdoings. Bommai said due to the lack of a strong Lokayukta in the past, many corruption cases could not be investigated during the Congress rule.
Bommai said, “We have been repeatedly saying that we will conduct a fair investigation. In this matter also, our stand is that the independent Lokayukta will conduct an impartial inquiry and action will be taken against whoever has done wrong. There is no change in our stand. All the information and money received from there are now with the Lokayukta. There should be an independent and fair investigation. Our aim is that the truth should come out as to whom this money belonged and what was its purpose.”
On Thursday, Prashant Mandal was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh in the KSDL office. He has been put under house arrest. Virupakshappa’s residence and offices were then searched by the Karnataka government’s anti-corruption watchdog. A Lokayukta official said that we suspect that Prashant was taking the bribe on behalf of his father. They are probing the source of the money found in his office.
In his resignation letter, Madal Virupakshappa denied the allegations levelled against him. He said, “I have nothing to do with the Lokayukta raid. This is a conspiracy against me and my family.” According to Lokayukta officials, on Thursday morning a person lodged a complaint against Prashant accusing him of taking a bribe. Thereafter, the Lokayukta officials caught Prashant red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh.
After the matter came to light, the opposition Congress launched a scathing attack on the BJP, calling it a ‘corrupt Janata Party’. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted that the ugly stench of #40PercentSarkara’s corruption has fouled even the beautiful fragrance of Mysore Sandal soap.