Even as Karnataka is set to go to polls in 2018, the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have begun sharpening their political knives well in advance with the kickbacks controversy. As the blame game on the issue continues, the BJP has accused the Congress of falsifying evidence and is demanding that cases be filed against four Congress leaders.
At issue is a video CD released by several Congress leaders, in which BJP state president Yeddyurappa and Union Minister Ananth Kumar can be heard purportedly discussing the kickbacks they paid to the BJP high command while in power.
On Saturday, a group of BJP MLAs from Bengaluru reportedly approached city Police Commissioner Praveen Sood and submitted a memorandum demanding that criminal cases be filed against the Congress leaders who released the video. Among others, BJP leaders BN Vijaykumar, Somanna, and Ravi Subramanya were part of the group that approached the Police Commissioner.
According to the memorandum, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar, Minister for Higher Education Basavraj Rayareddy, Minister for Water Resources MB Patil and MLC Ugrappa had deliberately tried to malign the BJP leaders’ reputation by releasing a doctored CD.
While the BJP said that it had filed a complaint under under sections 192, 193 and 196 of the IPC, that is on charges of fabricating false evidence, Praveen Sood told The New Indian Express that an FIR was not filed immediately.
“We are examining facts and verifying records based on the memorandum and further action will be taken. So far there is no FIR. Once we verify the evidence we will decide what to do,” he was quoted as saying.
What is the CD about?
On Monday, the Congress party released a video that reportedly shows BSY in conversation with Union Minister Ananth Kumar. The edited video shows the duo purportedly conversing about the money they paid to its national-level leaders, while in power.
Ananth Kumar is also heard telling Yeddyurappa that the party needs to keep the issue of Siddaramaiah allegedly accepting a bribe, burning until the assembly polls in 2018.
The Congress leaders released the CD a day after Yeddyurappa accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of having received kickbacks to sanction the controversial steel flyover project. The BJP leader went on to accuse the CM of having paid Rs 1000 Crore to leaders in New Delhi.