A friend since 1983 gifted the watch, says CM

News Karnataka

A friend since 1983 gifted the watch, says CM

A friend since 1983 gifted the watch, says CM

Feb 26, 2016 07:27:47 AM (IST)

Bengaluru: After the Rs 70 Lac watch stirred a storm in Karnataka, the Chief Minister has declared that he will not wear it anymore!
A friend since 1983 gifted the watch, says CM -1Having said that the CM has also revealed the name of the person who gifted him the luxury brand.

"I will not wear the watch which was gifted to me by my friend since 1983. I will hand it over to the government to preserve it as a state asset. I will also pay gift tax on the watch," Siddaramaiah said.

Siddaramaiah revealed that the expensive watch was gifted to him by his close friend since 1983, (NRI) Gopal Pillai Girish Chandra Verma who visited India last July.

"The full name of the person who gifted this invaluable watch is Gopal Pillai Girish Chandra Verma. He had come to India in July last year. I know him since 1983 and whenever he visits India, he meets me," the Chief Minister said adding that Pillai is a doctor working in Dubai.

He also said that Pillai had handed over the watch to him when he admired the watch that adorned the wrist of Pillai.

The controversy had flared last week after Janata Dal Secular's HD Kumaraswamy said the timepiece, seen on the wrist of Siddaramaiah, cost the whopping amount, striking an anomaly that this is the same state which has seen a good amount of farmer suicides.

The Chief Minister says he never asked or knew the value of the watch. On February 22 the friend has given an affidavit saying the watch cost 75,000 dirhams.

It may be recalled that the BJP approached the Enforcement Directorate on the issue - and state party chief, Prahlad Joshi, indicated that he may raise the issue in Parliament.