The specter of a ten-year-old corruption allegation has come back to haunt JD(S) President HD Kumaraswamy.
Lokayukta Special Investigation Team, which is probing the Janthakal mining scam, has issued summons to former BJP leader and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy on Friday and has sought evidence of bribery allegation he had levelled against Kumaraswamy in 2006.
According to media reports, Janardhana Reddy appeared before SIT IGP Charan Reddy at 4 pm.
"I have asked the SIT to grant me three weeks time to furnish the evidence for the allegtions I made against former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. I had earlier said that he had received kickbacks of Rs 150 crore from mining company owners. I will furnish video evidence within three weeks before the SIT," Janardhana Reddy told media persons.
In 2006, when HD Kumaraswmay was the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Janardhana Reddy was a BJP MLC. Reddy had made public a CD, which he claimed, contained phone conversations of exporters complaining about being under pressure to bribe the Chief Minister.
Reddy had alleged that Kumaraswamy had demanded a Rs 150 crore bribe from mining company owners for obtaining mining permits.
In 2006, Reddy had claimed that he had CDs which contained videos of Kumaraswamy seeking bribes from mining company owners to renew licenses of mining tenders in Chitradurga district.
Reddy, who had claimed that he had incriminating evidence against Kumaraswamy, the then Forest Minister C Chennigappa and the former Home Minister M P Prakash, had never furnished the proof.
The Lokayukta SIT has now asked Reddy to furnish video proof of the allegations he had levelled against Kumaraswamy.
On Thursday, Kumaraswamy appeared before the SIT, as per the Bengaluru sessions court order. The JD(S) leader was questioned for two hours during which he explained his version of the events.
“I am being targeted because I have a stronger base ahead of 2018 elections. And the people, who are occupying the SIT seats, take orders from the government to ensure that I am behind the bars for at least an hour and they show me in bad light,” Kumaraswamy told media persons.
On Monday, the Lokayukta Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the illegal mining cases in the state, arrested senior IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya for allowing a mining company to extract iron ore after receiving a bribe of Rs 10 lakh through a cheque.
The allegations in the case are that permission was granted to Janthakal Enterprises, a company owned by mining baron Vinod Goel, to extract iron ore on the basis of two forged letters of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).