Karnataka Congress takes action against 2 leaders over remarks on Shivakumar
- Action was initiated against the duo after a video surfaced in which the two leaders were reportedly heard talking about Shivakumar and “his people” taking money
The Karnataka Congress on Wednesday acted against two of its functionaries for allegedly making objectionable remarks against the state unit chief DK Shivakumar.
While MLA VS Ugrappa was issued a shadow-cause notice by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), media coordinator MA Saleem was suspended for six years, reported news agency ANI.
Action was initiated against the duo after a video surfaced in which Ugrappa and Saleem were reportedly heard talking about Shivakumar and “his people” taking money. Hindustan Times has not independently verified the authenticity of the leaked video clip.
The duo’s conversation, which came to light earlier in the day, seemed to be referring to Shivakumar’s tenure as the water resources minister in the previous HD Kumaraswamy cabinet.
The two men were heard speaking about the differences in the style of speaking between Shivakumar’s and senior Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah. According to reports, Saleem could be heard doing most of the talking, while Ugrappa responded with monosyllabic answers.
Soon after the surfacing of the clipping, Ugappa addressed a press conference stating that a private conversation was being taken out of context and the party did not encourage corruption. “Why is a conversation taken out of context being taken seriously? Congress has never encouraged commission or corruption in awarding tenders,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the BJP said the grand old party acted in a biased manner while punishing its workers on the basis of religion. “At the KPCC office, Ugrappa and Saleem expressed their opinion of the corrupt and failed leadership of their president. Saleem, a minority, has been suspended,” the party tweeted on Wednesday.
The Congress, however, said Saleem was suspended because he spoke “baselessly”, while urging the BJP to take similar action against its legislators. “We have suspended Saleem who spoke baselessly. Yatnal, who has been accused of repeatedly accusing his government.Vishwanath on him @BJP4Karnataka. Do you dare to take action or are you willing to admit their accusations?” the party wrote in a tweet.
The BJP also took a dig at the ongoing rumblings in the state unit of the Congress. Calling Shivakumar a ‘corrupt president’, the saffron party wrote, “Filming of multi-lingual multilingual political film has begun. Production, Direction - Siddaramaiah. Starring - Ugrappa, Saleem. The original trailer for the illicit editing has been released from the KPCC office.Will cinema be released in your theater?”.