Channagiri MLA surfaces at home hours, gets grand welcome from supporters

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Madal Virupakshappa was greeted with flower petals upon his arrival in Madal on Tuesday.

DAVANAGERE: Hours after he was granted interim anticipatory bail by the Karnataka High Court, Channagiri BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa surprisingly surfaced in Madal and was given a grand welcome by his followers. They also gathered in front of his house and burst crackers.

Virupakshappa was greeted by supporters.

In his first interaction with the media ever since the Lokayukta raid on his son in Bengaluru, Virupakshappa said, “I have not done any wrong and the court has granted me anticipatory bail”. To a question if he was trapped politically, he denied it and said, “This may have been done with some mala fide intention and I have no connection with it. During the last election, there was an Income Tax raid on me, but why it was done, I don’t know. It is normal for the opposition to rake up the issue. I have a lot of respect for Siddaramaiah and he also knows the truth. The people of the taluk know that I am a decent and simple politician and the development work I have undertaken. I am sure that the court will give me justice”.

To a question on the huge cash seized from his son, Virupakshappa justified it saying that it belongs to the family. “Channagiri is known for areca cultivation. Many plantation owners have Rs 5-6 crore in their houses. We have about 125 acres of areca plantation, two crushers, areca mandi and other businesses. We will provide the necessary documents to the Lokayukta and get back our money”, he said.

Madal Virupakshappa in his first media interaction after the Lokayukta raid on his on last week.

Regarding the fingerprints of his son found on the seized currency notes, he said, “I was at home and was watching on television. My son was sitting and two people went in and kept the money. Later, the Lokayukta police grabbed Prashanth’s hand and forced it on the money. There is some conspiracy behind all this. I am sure I will get justice from the court”.

On Shreyas Kashyap, who lodged the complaint, Virupakshappa claimed that he does not know him. “I have not even seen him. There are no tenders of KSDL being floated now. We have a pan masala company and he may have taken money to supply some materials. I don’t know why he lodged a complaint, but there is no complaint against me. I will fully co-operate with the investigators”, he added.

Madal Virupakshappa supporters celebrated earlier in the day after the high court granted interim bail.

Later, speaking to Public TV, he said the Lokayukta police have not made any charges against him in the FIR. “At chairman of KSDL, I do not have any executive powers and we only make policy decisions”, he claimed. Asked about him going into hiding, he claimed that he was at home itself, did not venture out and had switched off his mobile phone. “This is a conspiracy against my son. Only after I talk to him will I know what happened. The money is not gains from corruption”.

On the Opposition attack over 40 per cent commission, he said, “When we are in power, they make allegations and vice versa. By raising this issue, they are only trying to gain public trust”.

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