A sting operation conducted by a news channel has reportedly exposed Karnataka social welfare minister H Anjaneya's wife, as she was allegedly caught accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh to clear a tender for supplying means to hostel students in Morarji Desai Residential Schools run by the social welfare department.
The video went viral on social media after the television channel repeatedly played the videotape.
This is the second time the minister is in trouble. In June, he allegedly submitted inflated bills in purchase of beds and pillows for student hostels, causing a loss of 14 crore to the exchequer.
TOI quoted CM Siddaramaiah saying, âThe issue came to my notice when I was chairing the cabinet meeting. I've sought details of the video and allegations against the minister and his wife. I will look into them before reacting.â
According to TOIâs description of the first video, there are two investigation team members of the channel, who were posing as âcontractors from Mangaluruâ, were seen discussing the deal with Prabhakar deputy director (hostels), social welfare department at his office. The officer asks for 1.5% of the 7-crore deal. The âcontractorâ offers Rs 7 lakh which Prabhakar asks them to hand over to the ministerâs wife, Vijayalakshmi.
In the second video taken at the ministerâs house, Vijayalakshmi is seen in the room and a person going in and placing a bundle of cash on the table. The audio is not clear to confirm what she says, but the news channel that conducted the sting said it was Vijayalakshmi asking them to keep the money on the table, the report said.
However, the authenticity of the tapes is yet to be verified.
Anjaneya said that he was unaware of where the video came from and his political rivals have plotted against him.
TOI quoted him saying, âI don't know where this has come from. I'm a Dalit and I haven't come here (into politics) to make money. I'm targeted by my rivals.â
He told the news channel that conducted the sting: âI've asked department officials to conduct a probe against the officer (Prabhakar) to ascertain whether he has a role in the sting operation to fix my wife and me. Ours is not a family that stoops low.â
The newspaper reported that governor Vajubhai has asked for a report from the government on the scam.