Kickbacks row: Opposition demands Karnataka CM’s resignation after ‘explosive diary’ surfaces

The contents of the diary have initials along with the amount paid by said individuals to the party high command, reports suggest.
Kickbacks row: Opposition demands Karnataka CM’s resignation after ‘explosive diary’ surfaces
Kickbacks row: Opposition demands Karnataka CM’s resignation after ‘explosive diary’ surfaces
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An explosive diary, which allegedly has information on kickbacks paid by Karnataka Congress leaders to the party high command in New Delhi, has started a political storm in the state.

A copy of the diary, which was allegedly found in MLC Govindaraju’s house during an I-T raid in March 2016, was circulated to a few TV channels late on Thursday night. The channels reported that kickbacks were allegedly paid to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and party treasurer Motilal Vohra by state Congress leaders.

The contents of the diary have initials along with the amount paid by said individuals to the party high command, media reports suggested.

Demanding that CM Siddaramaiah and his associates involved in ‘bribegate’ must quit their posts, state BJP Chief Yeddyurappa said on Thursday night that the alleged kickbacks amount to Rs 1,000 crore.

The hand-written entries "has initials like 'SG', which stood for Sonia Gandhi, 'RG' Rahul Gandhi, 'MV' Motilal Vohra and 'DVGS' for Digvijaya Singh," said Yeddyurappa, according to news agency IANS.

“The Congress leaders were sending money to the party and some of it so as to get the controversial steel flyover project sanctioned as it has been stayed by the NGT,” Yeddyurappa alleged.

When BS Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister of Karnataka, he was made to step down from his ministerial post due to corruption allegations.

The expose has set off a series of protests across the state. On Friday, BJP Yuva Morcha activists protested at Mysore Bank Circle demanding that CM Siddaramaiah resign from his post.

A similar protest was carried out outside PWD Minister HC Mahadevappa’s house in Mysuru by the BJP Yuva Morcha.

BJP SC Morcha activists protested outside Congress MLA, Dinesh Gundurao's house demanding a public apology from him.

"Dinesh Gundurao had said that Yeddyurappa had lost his mental faculties, when our leader had revealed the existence of the diary. He should issue a public apology to Yeddyurappa," BJP leaders said.

In Gadag, BJP leaders protested saying that the Congress has brought shame to the public office by indulging in corruption. BJP workers claimed that “the people’s representatives were deceiving the public”.

In Shivamogga, Leader of Opposition in Vidhana Parishad, KS Eshwarappa said that a CBI inquiry must be launched into the contents of the diary.

“When Yeddyurappa had spoken about the diary, Congress MLA Dinesh Gundurao had reacted to it by using derogatory terms and had called Yeddyurappa insane. Now that Yeddyurappa has proved his point, Gundurao must offer a public apology. When the incident came to light, the first thing Congress asked was how did BSY get the diary and later challenged him to reveal its contents. When it came out, they are now saying that it was planted. A CBI probe must be initiated,” Eshwarappa said.

K Govindaraju, the MLC from whose house the diary was allegedly found, admitted that his house had been raided by the IT department. However, he denied the existence of the diary and told media persons that it was planted by the BJP to shame the Congress ahead of the polls.

“I have not paid any money to the high command, or to the offices of SG, RG or MV as mentioned in the diary. The handwriting in those pages is not mine. Ask the I-T Department how Yeddyurappa got hold of this diary as the BJP is saying that the diary was found during the raid in my house. I have informed the I-T officials that the diary was left behind in my house by someone who wanted to frame me,” Govindaraju said.

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has also demanded CM Siddaramaiah’s resignation, while also saying that BJP leaders were equally corrupt.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress party protested against the allegations made by the BJP and held a Satyameva Jayate rally in Bengaluru on Thursday. Congress leaders claimed that the BJP has been misusing Central government agencies like the I-T, ED and CBI.

Speaking to media persons on the issue, Home Minister G Parameshwara said that the truth will come out when an investigation is conducted.

"When a diary containing money paid to Narendra Modi had been exposed during the Sahara raid, the BJP had said that just because someone wrote something in a diary does not make it true. The BJP is now claiming that a diary was found and is trying to implicate Congress leaders just ahead of the polls. This is a politically motivated move. MLC Govindaraju has said that the diary is not his and that it was planted by the BJP. Let a probe be conducted and the truth will come out," Parameshwara said.

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