A new political drama is unfolding in Karnataka after former JD(S) state President and disqualified MLA from Hunsur, AH Vishwanath accused former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of tapping phones of prominent political leaders.
Vishwanath, who was once Kumaraswamy's trusted lieutenant held a press conference in Bengaluru and said that Kumaraswamy had tapped into the phones of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and also the incumbent CM BS Yediyurappa. Vishwanath accused Kumaraswamy of indulging in criminal activities as he did not trust his own party men and confidantes.
“When 17 disgruntled MLAs (including Vishwanath himself) decided to not support the coalition and tendered resignations, HD Kumaraswamy had tapped the phones of MLAs and also that of our associates. A Chief Minister had tapped into the phones of his own party’s MLAs and he used these recorded conversations to blackmail the disgruntled leaders,” Vishwanath said.
Recounting Kumaraswamy’s statement in the House that he “was disgusted with Vishwanath", the former JD(S) state President said that Kumaraswamy could not have known what he had said to his friends and family if the CM had not listened to the tapped conversations.
“How did he have recordings of the phone conversations?” Vishwanath questioned. Alleging that Kumaraswamy did not trust Siddaramaiah, Vishwanath accused Kumaraswamy of tapping the Congress leader's phone too.
“Kumaraswamy did not trust Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah’s PA, Venkatesh’s phone was tapped. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s phone was tapped. This must be investigated,” Vishwanath added.
Recalling similar cases, Vishwanath said that former CM Ramakrishna Hegde, had also resigned from his post due to allegations in a phone tapping case .
Soon after Vishwanath’s statement, BJP MLA from Padmanabhanagar, R Ashok demanded that a CID investigation must be launched into these allegations. “On multiple occasions, I have also said that the phones of MLAs and their associates’ were being tapped. Now its out in the open. A CID investigation must be launched,” he said.
Denying all allegations, Kumaraswamy said that he had no need to tap any phones. “I am the one who repeatedly said that the Chief Minister’s chair is not a permanent one. I knew this and I did not have any reason to tap the phones of anyone. The allegations being made against me by certain leaders is far from the truth,” Kumaraswamy said.