Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is already in trouble because of the two scams allegedly involving his son, is facing an embarrassing situation. It has been revealed that he spent Rs 20 crore from the state exchequer on his official air travel for the last three years.
The revelation comes at a time when the entire state is reeling under severe drought. Siddaramaiah came to power in May 2013 and stands in the first position when it comes to expenses related to air travel. Next is Industries Minister RV Deshpande at Rs 54 lakhs followed by veteran actor-turned-politician MH Ambarish (Housing Minister) at Rs 39.91 lakhs followed by Forest, Ecology & Environment Minister B Ramanath Rai at Rs 33.50 lakhs.
All the air travel expenses are listed under “official work” and social activist Bheemappa Gadad, who procured the information under the RTI, demanded a detailed probe into the same.
“The ministers and the CM should desist from using aircraft and helicopters for travel within the state. They should use trains and the vehicles assigned to them. This way they can reduce the burden on the state exchequer in times of distress like this drought,” he said.
So far, Siddaramaiah has not responded to these air travel related revelations, which could further dent the image of the Congress.