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Posted at: Feb 12, 2019, 6:57 AM; last updated: Feb 12, 2019, 6:57 AM (IST)

Yeddy audio vs HDK’s CD in House as BJP, JD(S) spar

Ramakrishna Upadhya

Bengaluru, February 11

The Karnataka Assembly turned into a battleground between the Congress-JD(S) combine and the BJP today as ‘the Yeddyurappa audio’ allegedly luring a legislator to his side was countered with a ‘Kumaraswamy CD’ allegedly demanding Rs40 crore from one Viju Gowda for making him a member of the legislative council.

On Friday, just before presentation of the state Budget, CM HD Kumaraswamy released an audio tape at a press conference, claiming that BS Yeddyurappa had told the son of a JD(S) legislator that his father would be made a minister if he joined the BJP and “even the Speaker had been booked with an offer of Rs50 crore.”

While admitting that he had met legislator’s son Sharanagouda and the voice on the tape was his, Yeddyurappa vehemently denied that he had ever talked about the Speaker and said: “It had been doctored.” Kumaraswamy’s admission that he had indeed sent Sharanagouda to do a ‘sting’ operation helped the BJP to claim that “it was a manufactured tape.”

Today, when the Assembly took up the issue, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said he had been pained at the allegation purportedly made against him and suggested to the CM to set up a SIT to hold an inquiry and submit a report within 15 days.

BJP members KS Eshwarappa and Madhuswamy said an SIT would not be able to conduct an impartial inquiry as the government was also involved and suggested that instead the matter be referred to a House committee or a judicial commission.

While Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar pressed for an SIT, Eshwarappa said since CM’s role also needed to be probed, an SIT would be like “handing the key to the thief himself.” The Speaker later expunged the word ‘thief’ from the records. At this stage, BJP member Renukacharya displayed a CD and alleged that it contained a conversation between one Viju Gowda and Kumaraswamy where the latter demanded Rs40 crore from Gowda for an MLC seat. He gave the CD to the Speaker saying it should become part of the inquiry being ordered.

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