BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa and other MLAs have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly bribing Sharanagouda, son of Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda Kandkur.

Yeddyurappa BJP MLAs get anticipatory bail in Karnataka audiogate scandal PTI/file photo
news Crime Sunday, February 17, 2019 - 11:38

A special Bengaluru court on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and leader of state BJP, as well as his party colleagues in connection with the recent audiogate scandal. The court asked Yeddyurappa, fellow party MLAs Shivanagouda, Preetham Gowda and Yeddyurappa’s advisor Marakal to deposit Rs 1 lakh each in surety and warned against tampering of evidence.

This development comes after an FIR was registered by Raichur police on February 13 against Yeddyurappa and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act based on a complaint by Sharanagouda, son of Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda Kandkur.

In an explosive presser on February 8, just ahead of the budget, CM HD Kumaraswamy along with Sharangouda, had released the contentious audio tape where Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard offering bribes and threatening Sharanagouda to make his father take part in ‘Operation Kamala’. The alleged conversation took place in Yadgir Circuit House, claimed Sharanagouda.

While Yeddyurappa had initially denied ever meeting Sharanagouda in the Yadgir Circuit House in the early hours of February 8, he later admitted to being present there but claimed the audio to be doctored.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who was also mentioned in the tape, had ordered a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up by the Chief Minister, within 15 days.

The voice purported to be Yeddyurappa’s in the tape had also said that the Speaker had been booked for Rs 50 crore.

The BJP, which had protested the decision claiming they want a judicial probe, said they do not have any faith in any investigation carried out by a state government-run agency.

The audiogate scandal was also discussed in Lok Sabha and became the focal point during the Question Hour on February 11 with Congress’ legislature party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda speaking on the issue. Earlier on the same day, Congress MPs had staged a protest holding placards in front of the Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex against the alleged political “horse trading”.

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