In the wake of state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s allegations that Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah paid Rs 1,000 crore to the Congress high command to stay in power, four ministers in the Congress government and three legislators Monday released a CD containing a video clip of a purported conversation between Yeddyurappa and Union Minister H N Ananth Kumar, where the two are discussing how to politically use the issue.
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.
On Monday, the Congress government in the state fielded four ministers and three legislators to defend Siddaramaiah. They released a minute-long video clip of a BJP event where Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar are purportedly discussing the issue. Congress MLC V S Ugrappa said the purported conversations was recorded inadvertently by a microphone that was on.
Ananth Kumar is purportedly heard telling Yeddyurappa that the issue can be used politically to stain the Siddaramaiah government because nobody would believe denials by the Chief Minister. “Let them go around issuing denials till the elections,’’ Ananth Kumar is purportedly heard saying.
Congress leaders, including ministers Basavaraj Raya Reddy, Sharan Patil, M B Patil and Eshwar Khandre and Ramesh Kumar, demanded that Yeddyurappa present documents on the basis of which he made the allegations. “How does Yeddyurappa have access to diaries seized in income tax raids. Is he a part of the I-T department? What is the document on the basis of which he is making allegations. Please place it in public and if it is valid, the CM will step down,’’ said Health Minister Ramesh Kumar.
The Congress leaders demanded an investigation into payments made by the BJP to its high command when Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister of Karnataka.