The Bengaluru Police have arrested two Congress members after posters saying “PayCM” were put up at various places in the city to expose the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s alleged corruption, officials told The Indian Express on Thursday.
The posters pasted on walls on Wednesday show Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s face in the middle of a QR code with the message “40% accepted here”, similar to electronic wallet Paytm’s advertisements. Those scanning the QR code would be taken to the 40percentsarkara.com website launched by the Congress last week to report grievances about corruption in Karnataka.
Last month, the state contractors association had told NDTV about paying bribes of up to 40% of the project value to government officials to secure contracts. “Earlier the commission was only 5%,” Vice President of Karnataka’s State Contractor Association Manjunath had alleged. “Now it’s 40%. Ministers, MLAs are also involved.”
The BJP, however, rejected the charges by accusing the contractors association of being linked to the Congress.
On Wednesday, the police arrested Karnataka Congress social media coordinator BR Naidu and Congress IT cell member Gagan Yadav for allegedly pasting the posters.
The police along with civic authorities removed the “PayCM” posters from Mekhri Circle, Palace Road, and Balekundri Circle.
Congress MLA Priyank Kharge asked the Bommai-led government to address the bribery allegations, The Telegraph reported.
“They can tear the posters, hack our website and Twitter handles and even issue summons,” Kharge added. “But tell us when they are going to explain to the people about this rate card.”
Bommai said he has ordered an inquiry as the poster campaign was a conspiracy to tarnish his and the Karnataka government’s reputation.
“Everyone knows how to launch baseless campaigns like this one,” the chief minister said. “But my issue is that this is an attempt to spoil the name of the state and suitable action will follow against that.”