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CM, aides practising open market bidding for officials'

Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday accused Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and his close aides of practising "open market bidding" for transfer of officials to certain prime positions.

Reacting sharply, the BJP alleged Kumaraswamy was indulging in politics of conspiracy to protect officials close to him.

BJP's Karnataka joint spokesperson S Prakash said, Kumaraswamy indulging in politics at the time when people are in difficulty due to floods was "pitiable."

Targeting the BJP government in the State, Kumaraswamy said "I request the Chief Minister and those close to him, the bidding that is going on for transfers to certain positions- to keep away from it for some time, for the sake of people."

Speaking to reporters at Hassan, he asked "if you indulge in such bidding, to what extent officials will cooperate with you in work?"

Stating that he was not speaking in jest, the former chief minister claimed what he was saying was facts.

"For the last few days engineers from irrigation, PWD or panchayat raj departments, for certain important positions, there is open market bidding that is happening. With those officials (transferred through such process) can you work with confidence?" he asked.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy that collapsed last month after 14 months in power too was accused of running a "transfer mafia" by the BJP, then in opposition.

Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna, the then PWD Minister, had come in for criticism from the BJP and a section of disgruntled Congress leaders on transfers during the coalition rule.

Yediyurappa after taking oath as Chief Minister on July 26 has reportedly transferred several officers.

The Congress and JD(S) leaders have hit out at Yediyurappa questioning whether his priority was cabinet expansion or transfer of officials.

Yediyurappa, as Chief Minister, is currently the only member in the state cabinet.

"Unnecessarily to protect officials close to him, Kumaraswamy was indulging in politics of conspiracy," BJP's Karnataka joint spokesperson S Prakash said.

Yediyurappa was completely focused on flood relief work and Kumaraswamy too by doing similar work should try to console those in pain, he added.