Karnataka's ex-chief begins fast-unto-death


Staff member

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy yesterday began a fast-unto-death demanding a CBI probe to determine whether or not his family's Rs15 billion (Dh1.23 billion) assets were legally acquired.

"I will continue the fast till the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government announces the probe as allegations against my family are totally false," he told reporters, as he launched the fast at Freedom Park here, about 4km from Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat. Scores of his Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) party workers gathered to support him.

Kumaraswamy, 52, is a JD-S Lok Sabha member and son of former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

The Gowda family is accused by the ruling BJP of "amassing assets now valued at Rs1,500 crore [Rs15 billion] by illegal means".

The assets, listed in a booklet made public by BJP on June 28 here, include land, commercial and residential properties and several companies run by the family — mainly by the sons and daughters-in-law.

The booklet titled, Amassing Wealth By Corrupt Practices: A tell-tale story of H.D. Kumaraswamy and family, was released to counter his charges of corruption against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Gowda, head of the JD-S, and Kumaraswamy, the party's state president, have not contested the booklet's details.