The Hindu

Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has denied reports that he amassed public money after assuming charge as a Union Minister.

Mr. Gowda denied the claims of the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch that his wealth increased by Rs. 10.46 crore after he became Railway Minister.

Addressing presspersons here on Sunday, he said that he had initiated the process of purchasing a commercial building in Bangalore before the Lok Sabha elections and the property was registered only after the elections.

Hence, there was a difference in the total value of assets mentioned in the affidavit filed before the Election Commission prior to elections, and the recent disclosure of assets to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two agencies had claimed that Mr. Gowda’s assets had shot up from Rs. 9.99 crore this May to Rs. 20.35 crore in October.

Mr. Gowda said that he had availed a loan of Rs. 8 crore from the Federal Bank, Manasa Towers, Mangalore, for purchasing a three-storey commercial building of 36,000 sq. ft. carpet area at M.S. Ramaiah Nagar, Bangalore.

In addition, he had availed Rs. 2 Crore as rental advance from M.S. Ramaiah Foundation, RIMS, No. 15, New BEL Road, M.S. Ramaiah Nagar, Bangalore, for renting out the same building to the foundation. In this manner he had raised Rs. 10 crore for purchasing the building.

The Railway Minister said that the bank sanctioned the loan on November 20, 2013, before the Lok Sabha elections. The loan was disbursed on May 23, 2014, after the elections and the property was registered in his name on the same day (May 23, 2014) and was mortgaged to the bank.

Mr. Gowda said that the property had been registered even before he took oath as Union Minister. “At that time, I didn’t know that I would become a Union minister,” he said.

The rent of Rs. 15 lakh per month, being given by the foundation, was being credited to the bank against loan installments.

He released a letter dated October 25, 2014, of the Mangalore branch of the Federal Bank giving details of the loan disbursement.

Mr. Gowda said he had, in the past 25 years, made sincere efforts to lead a transparent life as a politician.

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