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Siddaramaiah questions PM on bitcoin scam

Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday sought to know if it was ‘correct’ on part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in telling Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to ignore the charges regarding the alleged bitcoin scam in the state.

The leader of opposition in Karnataka assembly in a series of tweets sought an impartial probe into the case and punishment to the guilty.

“Instead of asking the CM of Karnataka to investigate and prove the innocence, how is it correct for the Prime Minister to tell him to ignore the allegations? Can the Prime Minister unilaterally decide what he wants?” Siddaramaiah asked.

Noting that the central and state investigating agencies are investigating the bitcoin scam, he said, “Bommai is the present CM and was also home minister under the previous Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led government. By asking the CM to ignore at this stage of investigation, is the Prime Minister asking him to drop the investigation?”

“We don’t know if Bommai is involved in the bitcoin scam or not. All we are asking is to investigate it properly and punish the guilty. Why is Narendra Modi asking CM to ignore?” he asked.

Bommai after meeting Modi in New Delhi on Thursday had said the Prime Minister advised him not to bother about the issue, and instead work for the people with dedication and honesty.

“It (bitcoin issue) was not discussed at all. However, when I tried to bring it up, he (Modi) advised not to bother about the issue, and work with dedication and honesty for the people, everything will be alright,” Bommai had said, when asked by reporters if the bitcoin issue came up for discussion during the meeting with PM.

The CMO in a statement had even claimed that the gesture reflects the solid support from the Prime Minister for Bommai’s leadership.

There has been speculation for some time now about involvement of politically influential people in the scam after CCB officials seized bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore from a city-based hacker, Srikrishna alias Sriki, who is also accused of hacking into government portals, sourcing drugs through the dark net, and paying for it through cryptocurrency.

While Congress leaders alleging involvement of senior BJP leaders, their family members and senior officials in the scam, have accused the government of trying to cover up; the ruling party too in its counter has alleged involvement of leaders from the grand old party.

Alleging that BJP leaders in Karnataka are trying to prevent his party from speaking on the issue, by claiming the involvement of Congress leaders, Siddaramaiah said, “They have governments both at the Centre and State. Let them investigate impartially and reveal the names of those involved.

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