Before the Karnataka trust vote: Bluster, deceit and audio tapes
In the tape, released hours ahead of the crucial Karnataka trust vote, Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard speaking to Congress MLA from Hirekerur BC Patil over phone. HT Couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the clip.Updated: May 20, 2018 10:23 IST
The Congress party on Saturday released a series of audio clips purportedly of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders trying to lure opposition members of the legislative assembly (MLAs ) by offering them money and positions in the government if they defected.
While one clip, allegedly of mining baron G Janardhana Reddy asking Congress MLA Basanagouda Daddal to defect, was released on Friday, four more were made public on Saturday.
The BJP denied the allegations. Hindustan Times couldn’t confirm the authenticity of the tapes.
One of the clips purportedly was the record of a conversation between BS Yeddyurappa’s younger son BY Vijayendra and an unknown Congress MLA’s wife. In the clip, the male voice is heard offering ~15 crore or ~5 crore and a ministerial berth for the leader to vote in favour of the BJP in a trust vote that was to be held on Saturday. Additionally, the person assures the woman, cases pending against her son would be withdrawn.
Another clip was purportedly of a conversation between BJ Puttaswamy, a close aide to Yeddyurappa, and the unidentified woman cited earlier. In that, too, an offer of Rs 15 crore is made for voting for the BJP in the trust motion. Again, an assurance is give that the cases against her son will be taken care of.
Meanwhile, an audio clip purportedly of Yeddyurappa offering a cabinet post to Congress MLA BC Patil was also released by the party. In the recorded conversation, a person is heard asking Patil to get off the bus in which the Congress MLAs were travelling on one pretext or the other.
“If you do not get off the bus and go to Kochi then we will not be able to do anything,” the person says. Kochi was where the Congress MLAs were supposed to go. When Patil asks what he would get in return for his defection, he is assured of a ministry.
Another audio clip, the Congress alleged, was of Patil speaking to B Sriramulu of the BJP and Muralidhar Rao, the BJP general secretary in-charge of the state. In the clip, Patil purportedly receives an offer of Rs 15 crore in return for his defection.
Union minister Ananth Kumar said the clips were completely fabricated. “The clips are completely false and fabricated by the Congress,” he said outside the Governor’s residence .
Congress leaders in the Vidhana Soudha latched on to Yeddyurappa’s resignation speech, in which he admitted to having spoken to opposition leaders.
“I had asked opposition members to vote according to their conscience. It is true that I called them, it is true that I offered assurances,” he said in the House.
State Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the party would consider all legal options.
“When he has admitted on the floor of the House that he had contacted our MLAs, it shows that the BJP was trying to get them to defect. We will definitely take this up legally,” he said.