In the conversation between VS Ugrappa and Salim, the latter says that someone close to DK Shivakumar has made crores and wonders how much others have made.

- Former Lok Sabha member VS Ugrappa on the right and the media coordinator of the Congress Party, MA Salim seated on a table for a press meet
news Controversy Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 15:21

In a major embarrassment for the Congress in Karnataka, the conversation between two leaders of the party — Former Lok Sabha member VS Ugrappa and the media coordinator of the Congress Party, MA Salim — in which they accuse party president of DK Shivakumar of taking bribes, was caught on camera. The two were conversing about Income Tax raids in Karnataka, especially on a political consultancy firm called ‘Designboxed.’

In the conversation, Salim mentions that someone close to DK Shivkumar has made crores and wonders how much others have made. The BJP was quick to react to the controversy. BJP's General Secretary CT Ravi tweeted, “Kannadigas are wondering how much the ‘Fake Gandhis' would have collected."

This is how the entire conversation in Kannada went:

MA Salim: "DK has many adjustments. Uppar, G Shankar, Hanumanthappa who is from Ballari."

Ugrappa: "Uppar is from Bijapur"

Salim: "Yes, but he was in SM Krishna’s house recently...This is a big scandal. If we start digging his name also will come."

Ugrappa: "Let me tell you something..."

Salim: "Sir, you don’t know….(inaudible) is worth Rs 50 to 100 cr. If he has made so much money, then imagine how much the other guy has. He is just a collection agent."

Ugrappa: "We all were adamant and made him party president. But he is not rising because of all these reasons."

Salim: "No sir, he is not. He stammers when he speaks. Don’t know if he has low BP or sugar. You see when he talks."

Ugrappa: "That is what I said now."

Salim: "Yes. Media persons ask me if he is drunk. He is not drunk, that is just his talking style."

Ugrappa: (Laughs)

Salim: "He gets emotional when he speaks. See Siddaramaiah's body language when he speaks. It is tough. He does not have that."

Caught on the wrong foot, the Congress went into damage control mode. A show cause notice  has been issued to Ugrappa by the Disciplinary Committee Chairman Rahman Khan. While seeking an explanation from him within the next three days regarding the conversation, the notice says that the private conversation that was held between the two leaders ahead of a press conference has brought embarrassment to the Congress party. It also adds that they have insulted the KPCC president DK Shivakumar by making baseless allegations which the Congress party denies and condemns. 

Meanwhile, KPCC media coordinator MA Salim’s primary membership of the Congress party has been suspended for the next six years. 

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