Hours before the Karnataka state assembly holds the crucial floor test for the newly-appointed BJP government, and just minutes after all the elected MLAs took oath, the Congress party has released more taped conversations, which allegedly expose BJP leaders of plying Congress MLAs with money and ministries in return for voting for the Yeddyurappa government.
In one recorded phone call released by the Congress, CM Yeddyurappa is allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA BC Patil. The Congress MLA from Hirekerur recorded the call, according to the party. In the call, Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard saying, “Come back, we’ll make you a Minister and help you in whatever way you want.” In response, BC Patil is heard asking what ministry he would get, and if 3 other MLAs along with him will also get a position. The call ends with Patil promising Yeddyurappa to call him back in five minutes and tell him his decision, to which BSY allegedly asks him to call Sriramulu and tell.
In another set of tapes released by Congress leader VS Ugrappa, the recorded phone conversations allegedly show that two representatives of BJP, CM Yeddyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra and leader BJ Puttaswamy, approached the wife of Congress MLA Shivaram Hebbar and offered to close the mining cases against his son Vivek Hebbar, and also offered money and a cabinet position to desert the Congress and vote for the BJP during the floor test at 4pm.
In the call allegedly between Puttaswamy and Hebbar’s wife, the former says, “If you want only cash, let us do 15. If you want cabinet ministry, let us do 5.” The Congress alleges that Puttaswamy is offering Rs. 5 crore and a ministry, or just Rs. 15 crore, in return for Hebbar’s support. Puttaswamy also allegedly promises to clear the cases against the wife and the son, who are facing a trial in a mining scam.
In the other call, purportedly between Vijayendra and Hebbar’s wife, the male voice is heard asking, “He will become a minister, why will you worry about it?”
“There won't be any disturbance from the government. Because Yeddyurappa is there, we will benefit, but not at the cost of someone else's future,” Vijayendra allegedly says.
Reacting to this, BJP spokesperson Malavika Avinash told TNM, “What do you expect as a reaction to an unverified, unauthenticated audio? This is just another antic of the Congress party. These are just tricks on the mind of the people and the media that the Congress party is playing. The Congress is playing whatever circus, antic that it can to prevent the BJP from legitimately assume government. The BJP has received the mandate of the people of Karnataka.”
The new releases come in the wake of Friday’s explosive release by the Congress which alleged that mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy had approached Congress MLA to cross vote in favour of the BJP.
The audio clip allegedly had conversations between Congress MLA Basavanagouda Daddal and Reddy, where the latter is purportedly enticing him with ministerial post and multiplying his wealth by 100 times.
The person in the audio identified by the Congress as Janardhana Reddy is heard saying, “What I am saying is I will make you sit in front of the high command and make you talk to them one on one. And today in this country they are governing it because they always keep their word. Whatever wealth you have earned I promise you, you will make 100 times more.”