Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday challenged Congress to submit information regarding the Bitcoin scandal, saying he has already responded in the Assembly on the issue.
The Congress, in a fresh attack, criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka over the Bitcon scandal, and questioned the role of Chief Minister Bommai on the matter.
Replying to this, Bommai asked Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala -- who in a series of tweets slammed the BJP, to "submit information" regarding the scandal.
"From my side, I have given reply to the issue in the Legislative Assembly itself, if he (Randeep Surjewala) has any information on the issue, let him submit. Tweeting is meaningless," he said.
"What is the role and responsibility of the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai? (who was then home minister in-charge) and others in the state government?" Surjewala sought to know in a tweet.
Taking pot shots at the BJP's central leadership as well as CM Bommai, the Congress leader said: "The layers of Bitcoin scam are finally being unearthed. Let India's Home minister and Chief Minister Bommai answer."
"Is FBI in India to investigate India's biggest #Bitcoin Scam Coverup under Karnataka BJP Govt? If so, release details of the investigation & suspects, including political people?" he tweeted.
Priyank Kharge, Congress MLA from Karnataka, responding to Surjewala's tweet, said: "I believe the FBI is in Delhi to investigate the billion dollar Bitcoins scam. Like I said before, if the state investigates the matter, a lot of BJP's skeletons will tumble out of the layers of Bitcoins scam."
"How many Bitcoins were stolen? And of what value? Who in Karnataka is involved? Were the stolen Bitcoins transferred from the wallet of the arranged hacker Sri Krishna?" Surjewala questioned.
"Whether the 'Whale Alerts' reflecting the transfer of the 14,682 stolen Bitfinex Bitcoins valued at Rs 5,240 crore on the two dates, December 1, 2020 and April 14, 2021 when Sri Krishna was in custody -- has any correlation?" Surjewala sought to know.
He further asked, "Why was Interpol not informed? Why did the BJP government wait for over 5 months up till April 24, 2021 to write to Interpol and that also after the release of Sri Krishna on April 17, 2021."
He also questioned "why National Investigation Agency (NIA), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) were not informed by the Karnataka BJP government?"
The BJP high command "with difficulty" had managed to quell the voice of dissent against CM Bommai's leadership.
A BJP leader said that at a time when the party is all set for cabinet expansion and getting ready for assembly elections 2023 under the leadership of CM Bommai, the allegations (by Congress) have triggered a debate over the leadership issue again.