Karnataka: Speaker asks Kumaraswamy govt to form an SIT to probe alleged ‘poaching’ tapes

The BJP had claimed that the tapes are doctored and fake. They also alleged that CM Kumaraswamy had used his 'movie industry connections' to make the tapes.

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, on Friday, had released an audiotape, accusing BJP of luring its leaders in lieu of money and ministerial berths. The alleged tapes also involved the name of the assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, prompting him to order a SIT into the matter on Monday, when the house was convened.

CM Kumaraswamy had reportedly written a letter to KR Ramesh, informing him that the discussions in the audio tape regarding him are disrespectful of his position. When the tapes came to discussion in the house, the speaker expressed shock over the matter and said that it has hurt him deeply. BJP’s JC Madhuswamy said that as the alleged conversation in the tape has taken place outside the house, it should not be a business of state assembly to discuss it.

While the state government agreed on the SIT, BJP leaders demanded a probe by a judicial or a House committee. The audio tapes, released by CM, claiming that the conversation is between JD(S) MLA Naganagowda Kandukar’as son Sharna Gouda and BJP MLA Shivanagouda Nayak. The latter’s alleged voice can be heard offering Rs 25 crore and a minister’s post to JD(S) leader, in order to topple the state government. In the same tape, the name of assembly speaker also allegedly popped up, as an alleged voice of Nayak is heard saying that “all arrangements have been made for (speaker) Ramesh Kumar to accept the resignations when the number of MLAs reaches 15. The money has been fed to him.”

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Another tape was also released by CM, in which the alleged conversation can be heard between Sharna Gouda, BJP state president Yeddyurappa and MLA Nayak.

Karnataka BJP has called the audiotape doctored.

“To my misfortune, a person named me and said if anybody is willing to resign I will accept their resignation because I have taken Rs 50 crore. They have said courts will be fixed and the PM has also been named. This is not a good development.” Speaker was quoted by reports. He also said that judicial probe, that BJP is demanding, will take time and so recommended formations of a SIT to monitor the allegations, and submit a report within 15 days.

The speaker, in addition to this also expressed his confidence in BJP leader Yeddyurappa and said that he was not the person who made the statement in tape. But, he added, that it needs to be unearthed that which lawmaker of the house, made such allegations.

On Friday, CM Kumaraswamy presented the State Budget and will face voting on 15th February. The party is witnessing a crisis as several of its coalition MLAs have rebelled openly and refused to show up on important party meeting and session. On voting day, BJP is expected to demand the division of votes, making it mandatory for JD(S)-Congress alliance to prove the numbers on the floor.


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