It’s a game of one-upmanship in Karnataka with political parties using ‘leaked’ audio tapes to take on each other. After Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s explosive allegations on Friday that state BJP leaders claimed to have “booked the Speaker for Rs 50 crore”, the BJP has come out with new allegations against the Chief Minister.
Speaking to the media on Monday, BJP MLA from Mahadevapura, Aravind Limbavali alleged that the BJP is in possession of a video tape where Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is seen demanding Rs 25 crore bribe from aspirants for the MLC seat.
“When the party was deciding on MLC nomination, Kumaraswamy had demanded Rs 25 crore from one of the aspirants and we have video proof of it,” MLA Aravind Limbavali claimed.
The BJP MLA further stated that the video will be released on Monday in the Karnataka Assembly. “We will request the Speaker to view the video tape in his chambers. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy can also come along and explain himself. He is making false allegations against the BJP. They (JD(S)) have got mimicry artists to record this video. We have video proof,” Aravind Limbavali added.
Soon after the BJP leader’s statement made waves in the media, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy addressed the press in Mangaluru and stated that he had made allegations against BJP leaders, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi and that BJP leaders in the state were acting under the leadership of BS Yeddyurappa.
“I never said that Yeddyurappa was the one who spoke on the tape. I said that BJP leaders, under Yeddyurappa’s guidance were trying to poach leaders by offering them bribes. I wanted to expose Amit Shah, Narendra Modi and the way the BJP is functioning by perpetuating such actions. I exposed them because I wanted an inquiry to be launched,” Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said.
Kumaraswamy had alleged that BJP leaders were trying to poach Congress and JD(S) MLAs after releasing two audio clips in which voices purported to be BS Yeddyurappa and two other BJP leaders were trying to lure Gurmitkal JD(S) MLA Nagangouda Kankur’s son Sharangouda into their fold.
They are allegedly heard offering Sharangouda Rs 20 crore, a ticket to contest elections and also district-in-charge ministry to his father. The men in the video also claimed to have “booked the Speaker for Rs 50 crore”.
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said that he would address the issue in the Assembly on Monday and launch an official inquiry. He also said that the voices in the audio tapes are indiscernible and he believes that Yeddyurappa did not tell Sharangouda that the Speaker was offered Rs 50 crore.
Meanwhile, dissenting Congress leader BC Patil, who was believed to be in a hotel in Mumbai, addressed the media in Bengaluru and said that he was disgruntled with the coalition government but he would not resign.