BENGALURU -- The Janata Dal (Secular) on Friday rubbished Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's explanation that the Rs 70 lakh watch gifted to him was 'second hand', saying that it all seemed like a 'vague fabricated story'.
Janata Dal (Secular) state president HD Kumaraswamy said that the manner in which the Chief Minister explained the subject, raised suspicions over the origin of the watch.
"If (Dr. Girish Chandra) Verma [the person who gifted the watch to CM] is his close friend then why did he not come for his rescue when the issue came up," Kumaraswamy asked.
"The Chief Minister is claiming that the watch was worn by Verma. And when he came to Bangalore in 2015, he gave it to him (Siddaramaiah). Will any close friend gift a second hand item? If you want to show love and affection? Nobody will give used watch as a gift. This also looks like a vague fabricated story," he added.
Siddaramaiah's diamond studded Hublot watch made headlines after Kumaraswamy first revealed the watch's value. The Opposition is questioning the delay on the Chief Minister's part in declaring his watch.
Siddaramaiah, on his part, said that the watch was given to him by a person named Dr. Girish Chandra Verma, adding that the watch was 'second hand'.
"He forcibly took out the watch that he was wearing and gave it to me. I said no, but he insisted and gave it to me. I couldn't say more as he was a friend," he said at a press conference yesterday.
"When I told this to Dr. Verma he immediately wanted to come here and clarify. He has made an affidavit in this regard. Even he said that it is a second hand watch. I did want to reveal his name. So, I did not say anything earlier," he added.
He also said that he would declare the watch for IT returns in March and before the Lokayukta in June.
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