Karnataka Excise Minister HY Meti offered his resignation to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday following allegations of his involvement in a purported sex tape.
The Chief Minister has approved his resignation. However, Meti told reporters, "I am resigning so that the Government doesn't face any problem. Have done nothing wrong, let the enquiry commence."
I am resigning so that the Government doesn't face any problem. Have done nothing wrong, let the enquiry commence: HY Meti on sex tape issue pic.twitter.com/A3NZUKRMq5â€” ANI (@ANI_news) December 14, 2016
Reacting to the sex tape that was released in the media, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told mediapersons that Meti had resigned voluntarily.
"I have not seen the video but I have accepted his resignation and a CID probe will be initiated," the CM said.
RTI activist Rajshekar Mulali, who had brought the issue to the media's attention, told the media in Delhi that if the CM does not take appropriate action against corrupt and problematic ministers, he would publish details of a few more ministers in the future.
"When the CM had walked from Bengaluru to Bellary during his election campaign, he had promised to check corruption. The reason why Karnataka has been shamed is because of Siddaramaiah. If he does not take action against the corrupt ministers, I will reveal more information soon," Rajshekar added.
BJP leader C T Ravi said that Meti's issue must be investigated thoroughly. "When a rape allegation was made against BJP leader Halappa, a probe was initiated. The same should be done in Meti's case," Ravi added.
Former BJP Minister Suresh Kumar reacted by saying that Meti should have resigned before the tape was made public. "If Meti had resigned before the CD was made public he could have reduced the embarrassment faced by the government. More than works of development, the government is stacking up scandals. Before any more such instances occur, the CM has to take stringent action against problematic ministers," the BJP leader said.
Union Minister Sadananda Gowda also said that Meti should have resigned earlier and asked for an inquiry into the matter. "He should have said that he would come back to the cabinet if his innocence was proved. But due to the chain of events, there is obviously a doubt that he might have indulged in these activities," the Minister added.
Till Monday, Meti had refuted the allegations over the sex tape allegations. TV channels reported that the CM has ordered a probe in the incident.
â€śI am ready for any kind of investigation. Let them release the CD. I have not done anything wrong. I saw Rajashekar for the first time on TV. A video can be taken anywhere, even inside my house when I am with my wife. As far as Vijayalakshmi is concerned, she is my relative and I have known her for years. That does not mean that I will have such a relationship with her,â€ť an angry Meti lashed out at mediapersons on Sunday evening.
On December 11, regional TV channel BTV aired an interview where a woman, whose face was covered, claimed that the 71-year-old Congress minister demanded sexual favours in return for carrying out transfers in his department.
Following that interview, a serious of news reports were aired by various regional media outlets carrying different angles of the story.
The story broke out after an RTI activist Rajashekar Molali from Bellary claimed that he had seen the alleged video in a CD.
In one report, a lady identified as Vijayalakhsmi, who is also a relative of the minister was reported to be the woman in the video.
Another channel aired an interview of Vijayalakhsmiâ€™s husband. In the interview, her husband said that he had failed to contact his wife for three days.
One of the channels aired an audio tape where one Subhash (apparently, the ministerâ€™s aide) is heard offering bribe to the RTI activist to keep his mouth shut on the matter.
But the minister denied knowing Subhash or Molali.