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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Ex-Karnataka minister attempts suicide after 'illicit affair' turns public

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bangalore, February 12, 2014
First Published: 21:00 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:06 IST(12/2/2014)
A former Karnataka minister and BJP leader attempted suicide late on Tuesday night near Mysore after his alleged illicit affair with a government employee went public in bizarre manner, played out 'live' in front of a news-hungry media.
 
The 30-year-old woman had alleged on Tuesday evening that former health minister SA Ramdass was in an "intimate relation" with her for past five years.
 
He, however, later backed out of his promise to marry her fearing it would affect his political fortunes, she claimed.
 
Even as she was addressing a press conference to "unmask" the former minister, Ramdass, 52, had called her up on her mobile to dissuade her from making the affair public.
 
When journalists insisted that she put the call on speaker phone, a male voice said to be that of the former minister was heard saying, "Chinnu, please don't go to the media. If you do this I will commit suicide by consuming poison".
 
Soon, TV channels were playing the "audio" clip over and over again even as the news of his "illicit affair" became the talk of the town.
 
An "upset" Ramdass, a bachelor, rushed to a guest house and booked a room and bolted the door from inside.
 
When the BJP leader's driver tried to contact him, he found Ramdass' phone switched off. Fearing for the worst, the driver broke open the door with the help of the guest house's hotel staff and found him hanging from the fan.
 
He was rushed to a private hospital where he was said to be out of danger, party sources said.
 
The woman, a widow, alleged that she had approached Ramdass in 2009 -- he was an MLA then -- to seek a transfer from Tumkur (near Bangaluru) to Mysore.
 
She was transferred subsequently but their relation continued, she claimed.
 
She said though he promised to marry her he continued to put it off for one reason or the other.
 
She even said she would file a complaint of rape and breach of trust against the former minister.
 
Police are yet to file a case since no complaint was filed.
 
A grassroots leader, Ramdass was defeated in the last assembly poll. He was tipped to be the party candidate from Mysore Lok Sabha seat.
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