Home India Politics Will probe flood relief fund misuse charges: Congress

Will probe flood relief fund misuse charges: Congress


Bangalore : The Congress will probe allegations of misuse of flood relief funds collected by its Karnataka unit from the public, a senior party leader said here Tuesday.

“The party will look into the matter in detail. The state unit president (R.V. Deshpande) has already given his explanation. All issues will be considered,” Congress general secretary Oscar Fernandes told reporters.

The Karnataka Congress collected over Rs.20 million for relief and rehabilitation of people affected by heavy rain and flash floods Oct 30-Nov 2 in several north Karnataka districts. The rain and floods left over 170 dead and half a million homeless.

However, bank details of the way the money has been spent show that only a little over Rs.10 million actually went for relief and rehabilitation.

While Rs.7.5 million has been kept in a fixed deposit, the fund money has been drawn to pay for the repair of the party office in Bangalore, advertisements, an air ticket to Delhi and T-shirts for party volunteers deployed for flood relief work.

Deshpande has denied any misuse of the fund. He told reporters here Monday that except for the money spent on advertisements, air ticket and T-shirts, the rest taken for other expenses have been paid back to the fund.

He justified the use of fund money for advertisements, air ticket and T-shirts saying they were all related to flood relief efforts.

The ‘leakage’ of bank details has worsened the factionalism in the state unit with Deshpande’s supporters pointing fingers at the unit’s working president D.K. Shivakumar as the source.

Shivakumar has denied his involvement.

He asserted that he had no knowledge of how the funds were being used as it was handled by Deshpande. But he said he will apologise to the people as the entire amount has not been utilised for flood relief work.

“If we had not been able to utilise it for flood relief for whatever reason, we should have informed the public or at least the government. We have not done it,” he told reporters Monday.

Deshpande hit back saying that if Shivakumar did not know how the funds were utilized, why then was he apologizing.