The disquiet in the Karnataka BJP worsened Thursday, with party MLA Arvind Bellad alleging his “phone was being tapped and movements monitored”, and the CM’s political secretary MP Renukacharya terming his claims a bid for “cheap publicity”.
Arvind Bellad is part of the BJP faction that wants BS Yediyurappa replaced as Karnataka Chief Minister. On Thursday, he claimed attempts were on to implicate him in “some conspiracy in order to defame” him, and that he has petitioned Home Minister Basavaraj S Bommai and Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri for an inquiry.
The MLA from Hubli-Dharwad West said, “A few days ago, when I returned a call I had missed, one ‘Yuvraj Swamy’ answered, saying he wanted to speak to me about political developments in the state and my name being heard in them. As I could not recognise him, I disconnected the call. He called again after three-four days, claiming he had been unnecessarily put in jail and was now in a hospital.”
The MLA said he fears the calls are part of a “conspiracy”, coming from a man he doesn’t know and who is apparently facing criminal cases.
The MLA further claimed his movements are being monitored and sought police protection. “Several times, I have noticed that when I go somewhere, all of a sudden, some people follow me there. How are they coming, how do they get to know about my movements? All these things make me feel that my phone has been tapped and it is being monitored,” he said, adding that he has no suspicion on anyone.
Meanwhile, Renukacharya dismissed Bellad’s allegations. “This is for cheap publicity. No one’s phone is tapped, people are daydreaming about becoming the Chief Minister…”
Bellad, along with tourism minister C P Yogeshwar, had recently made visits to New Delhi, to convey unhappiness with Yediyurappa to national leaders. His recent claims come at a time BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Arun Singh, is on a three-day visit to the state.
On the same day, another state BJP leader and MLC AH Vishwanath, who is also in the anti-Yediyurappa faction, said the CM has “lost the spirit” to run the government and “dynastic politics have become prevalent in the state.”
“Dynastic politics is taking place in Karnataka, which is against the principles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Vishwanath said.
Vishwanath, along with MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, has earlier too protested the alleged interference of Yediyurappa’s son and state BJP vice president B Y Vijayendra in the administration of the state.
Despite the complaints against Yediyurappa, the BJP leadership has so far backed the CM in public.