SIT to probe audio clip in K’taka MLA poaching row
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday set up a SIT probe into the controversial audio clip showing BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa in a purported conversation to “poach” on a JD (S) MLA in his alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JDS Government.
Amid turmoil in the State Assembly over the audio tape, Speaker Ramesh Kumar made an emotional appeal to the Chief Minister to constitute a Special Investigation Team to probe the episode since the Speaker’s name also figures in the tape.
“Constitute SIT to establish the truth. Give me relief in 15 days,” a visibly anguished Kumar told Kumaraswamy, after members empathised with the Speaker, saying he was known for his integrity and dignity of his office should be protected.
Responding to the BJP members, who demanded that the probe be limited to the charge against the Speaker so that the SIT was not misused for ‘political vengeance,’ the Speaker told Kumaraswamy that “this (SIT) should not lead to a witch-hunt. The probe should be only to establish the truth.”
Kumar said in the conversation “one person induces another ….Says we have already booked the speaker for Rs 50 crore… About Rs 50 crore having paid to the Speaker to accept the resignation of MLAs (of the ruling coalition).”
On Friday, Kumaraswamy had released the audio clip in which Yeddyurappa is purportedly trying to lure a JD(S) MLA for destabilising the coalition Government.
Kumaraswamy had said during the purported conversation there was a mention of about a “Rs 50 crore offer to book” the Speaker to give a ruling in favour of MLAs who might resign to help the BJP bring down his Government.
The Speaker said he had received the audio clip and a letter from the Chief Minister on Friday and he was not sure whose voice it contained.
He said during the purported conversation, it was stated that Rs 50 crore had been paid to the Speaker to get a favourable ruling to accept the resignation of ruling coalition MLAs.
“Identification and authentication of the person is important. I can’t take this blemish. I can’t show my face to my wife and children,” Kumar said, as he spoke emotionally of how he had always upheld the highest standards in maintaining integrity in his political career.
“I don’t want to sit in the chair even for a minute. But I am not taking any hasty decision,” Kumar said.
As Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said Yeddyurappa had accepted that it was his voice, the BJP leader, who had remained silent throughout the discussion, got up to remark angrily,” don’t say that I have admitted to the conversation.”
After Kumaraswamy said he had accepted the Speaker’s advice for the SIT probe, BJP members objected to the SIT inquiry and insisted on constituting a House committee or a judicial probe. They expressed fears that the SIT might be misused with “political vengeance”, leading to trading of charges and counter-charges between the ruling benches and the opposition.
The Speaker then adjourned the House for half an hour.
Renukacharya (BJP) flashed a CD and said they can also expose.The 2014 video CD showed Kumaraswamy purportedly telling supporters of MLC seat aspirant Vijugowda Patil, the then JDS leader from Bijapur district, about the demand for Rs 40 crore from his party MLAs in return for votes, BJP sources said.
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 | PNS | New Delhi