The press conference was reportedly called off after it came to light that the lorry involved in the accident was actually owned by a kin of a BJP functionary.

Did Anantkumar Hegde call off presser as assasination theory fell flat Official Twitter handle
Karnataka Elections Karnataka 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 11:31

A media interaction with controversial BJP leader and central minister Anantkumar Hegde was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and then unceremoniously called off due to “unavoidable” circumstances. Why? Well, it appears that the minister wanted to limit embarrassment – both personal and for the party – after his “assassination” theory failed to hold water.

Less than 24 hours before the scheduled press conference, Anantkumar Hegde, whose convoy met with an accident, had tweeted about a “deliberate attempt” on his life when he was traveling towards Bengaluru.

Not only him, Mysuru-Kodagu BJP MP Pratap Simha also accused the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, of ordering a hit job of the central minister.

The incident involved a lorry hitting an escort vehicle of the minister’s convoy. The minister in subsequent tweets claimed it was an assassination attempt gone wrong resulting in a serious injury of a police officer.

However, the police denied this theory, and said that prima facie, there was no evidence to suggest it was anything but an accident.

Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told TNM, “The investigation is completed. It was an accident and not intentional. Senior officers went to the spot.”

“We know Anantkumar Hegde very well, he makes all kinds of allegations,” Ramalinga Reddy added.

Also read: ‘Accident, not an attempt on Anantkumar Hegde’s life’: Cops on minister’s claims

However, the press conference was called off after it came to light that the lorry involved in the accident was actually owned by a kin of a BJP functionary, according to media reports.

Speaking to TNM on Thursday morning, Haveri Superintendent of Police, K Parashuram said, “The vehicle belongs to one Nagesh from Chikkamagaluru district,” without adding any further detail. Reports suggest that Nagesh who hails from Koppa taluk  in Chikkamagaluru is the brother of BJP Taluk president Ramesh.

However, the BJP has denied the charge. Party spokesperson Malavika Avinash said, “The press meet was called off because he had to return to his constituency to continue his election work. He visited the Injured constable, Prabhu Talavar in the hospital in Ranebennur on the way and proceeded to Uttara Kannada.”

Accusing the Siddaramaiah government of influencing the probe, she stuck to the BJP’s conspiracy theory. “The unfortunate part is that the police are not pursuing such a serious matter with the requisite sincerity both in terms of arrests and inquiry. What better can we expect of the Siddaramaiah government? All other media speculations are unnecessary, instead we urge the media to prevail upon the police to pursue the matter,” she said.

Following the allegations, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy assured that a thorough investigation would be done by Inspector General of Police, Central Range, Sharat Chandra on the “serious allegations” by a central minister.

However, CM Siddaramaiah ridiculed the central minster by calling this a publicity gimmick.

“There is a leadership crisis in Karnataka BJP. People like Anantkumar Hegde & Pratap Simha are struggling to overshadow their CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa. That is why Hegde is using a minor accident to become politically relevant & sideline Yeddyurappa,” he tweeted.  



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