The ‘40% commission’ allegation by the Karnataka Contractors’ Association against the then Bommai-led BJP government had created a political row in the state.
The president of Karnataka Contractors’ Association, D Kempanna, who earlier alleged the previous BJP government of demanding a ‘40 per cent commission’ for contracts, said that it is continuing in the current Congress government as well. He said a few government officers are still harassing the contractors who take up government contracts in the name of kickbacks.
Speaking to reporters, Kempenna said, “Earlier in the BJP government, MLAs and MPs used to demand kickbacks from contractors who take up government projects. In this government, MLAs and MPs refrain from demanding commission, but a few government officials are still harassing the contractors. The corruption has not stopped, and the contractors are still paying 40% commissions to the officials.”
He also requested the government to handle such officers to avoid the bad name for it. “The government must keep an eye out on corrupt officials. They are part of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Public Works Department, Irrigation Department and other departments as well. Because of them, the government might get a bad name in public,” he added. However, Kempenna refrained from naming any official who demanded commission from the contractors.
The ‘40 per cent commission’ allegation by the Karnataka Contractors’ Association against the then Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government had created a political row in the state. The Congress, which was then in opposition, sharply attacked the BJP and made it an issue of elections during the assembly polls in 2023. The association also then wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the kickbacks which were allegedly being demanded.
The BJP called it a ‘political conspiracy’ to ruin the popularity of the BJP government and refused such allegations by the contractors.
However, after winning the mandate, Karnataka deputy CM and senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar assured contractors of taking strict action against corruption along with clearing pending bills of government contracts.