Accusing it of promoting corruption, the Congress on Tuesday criticised the BJP over a CD containing a video clip of a purported conversation between state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa and Union minister H N Ananth Kumar, in which the two are discussing how to politically use allegations made against Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah that he paid Rs 1,000 crore to the Congress high command to stay in power.
Last week, Yeddyurappa had alleged that entries in a diary found during Income Tax searches at properties belonging to an aide of Siddaramaiah had revealed information regarding payments to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to the Congress high command. Siddaramaiah paid the amount to meet resource needs of the party, the state BJP chief had alleged.
“We would have given the money but we never kept records of it,” Yeddyurappa is purportedly heard telling Kumar.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday along with Karnataka Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and former NSU president Salim Ahmed, AICC communication department head Randeep Surjewala claimed that Yeddyurappa has admitted he has paid the amount. “Who took money from him? How was this money generated and where did it go? How much money was given and where was it used? Is this not corruption?” he asked.
“What is the highest level?” he asked, referring to allegations that the amount was shared up to the highest level. “Is that the level of the party or is it the central government? These are the questions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah need to answer,” he said.
Four ministers and three legislators in the Congress government in the state had Monday demanded a probe into alleged payments made by the state BJP to its high command when Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister.
Asking whether the BJP will take action against Kumar and Yeddyurappa, Surjewala said the conversation revealed “how political power and public office are misused for collecting money through devious means which is shared at the highest level”.
Why no I-T raids on homes of BJP leaders: Siddaramaiah
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday accused the BJP government at the Centre of using the Income-Tax department to target Congress leaders in Karnataka ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections in the state. “Why are there no searches by the I-T department on the homes of BJP leaders. Do BJP leaders fall in the below poverty line category?’’ Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday during his reply to a discussion on the state Governor’s recent address to a joint session of the state legislature.
The frequent raids by the I-T department on Congress leaders in Karnataka are part of a political conspiracy hatched by the BJP, he said. “Are I-T officials leaking information? Is it not a violation of the law?” Siddaramaiah asked.
“B S Yeddyurappa has made corruption allegations against me. I will quit politics if he proves the charges. He has 22 cases against him and has not been acquitted in a single case,” he said.