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"PayCM' posters with the photo of the Karnataka Chief Minister surfaced in several parts of the city on Wednesday, following which an angry Basavaraj Bommai ordered an inquiry.
He also dubbed it a 'pseudo campaign,' which not only maligns his image but also of Karnataka.
"It is a systematic conspiracy to spoil my name and also Karnataka. I have directed the officials concerned to book a case. We will get it investigated to find out the people behind it," Bommai told reporters here.
"This is a baseless campaign in social media. Everyone knows how to do such things. Also, people know who is running the campaign. These are pseudo campaigns, which have intensified only recently. This has no value," he added.
The CM said he is hurt because more than him, Karnataka is getting a bad name due to such a campaign. "So, we have decided to put a brake on such activities," Bommai said.
The posters, which appeared in the central region of the city resembled advertisements of electronic wallet Paytm.
Bommai's face figures in the middle of the QR code with the message "40 % accepted here".
"Scanning the QR code takes the user to the 40 per cent 'sarkara' website launched by the Congress for the (bribery) complaints", according to sources.
The development comes in the midst of an aggressive campaign against the state government by the Congress, which charged it with corruption in awarding public contracts and government recruitment.
A contractors' body had recently levelled bribery charges that contractors had to pay 40 per cent commission to get public works contracts, an allegation strongly denied by the government.
Soon after the matter came to the notice of the authorities, these posters in public places were removed.
The BJP alleged that this was the handiwork of Congress.
"It's undoubtedly the handiwork of the Congress. Already Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has ordered an investigation and booked cases against those involved in this mischief," BJP state Media cell in charge Karunakara Khasle told PTI.
He added that the BJP state unit has also appealed to the Chief Minister to expose those who were behind this act.
Khasle dared the Congress to submit proof of corruption if they have or else apologise to the government.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Wed, September 21 2022. 18:46 IST