Staff Correspondent

He sees Chief Minister's hand in `fabricated photograph'

  • It is a gimmick played by JD (S), says Shivanna
  • `There will be an exodus from JD(S) to Congress'

    MYSORE: The former Minister M. Shivanna has suspected Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's role in the controversial photograph depicting Congress leaders M. Mallikarjun Kharge and N. Dharam Singh with the former police officer Sangram Singh, an accused in the multi-crore stamp paper scam.

    Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Shivanna said the Chief Minister was reported to be in possession of the controversial photograph even before it surfaced during the legislature session in Belgaum on Wednesday. JD (S) MLA representing H.D. Kote in the Assembly Venkatesh, who flaunted the "morphed" photograph during the Assembly proceedings, claimed that the same had been left in his room by unidentified persons.

    "Could the Chief Minister not be behind the fabrication of the photograph?" Mr. Shivanna wondered. The suspicion that Mr. Kumaraswamy had masterminded the episode was fortified when the Chief Minister defended his party colleague Mr. Venkatesh in the face of the anger expressed by the Congress.

    Mr. Shivanna said Mr. Venkatesh had been used as a puppet by the Chief Minister to flaunt a "morphed" photograph, fabricated with the aim of bringing discredit to Congress leaders.

    It may be mentioned here that the display of the controversial photograph showing Mr. Kharge and Mr. Dharam Singh with Mr. Sangram Singh in front of a wad of notes created pandemonium in the Assembly on Wednesday.

    Mr. Shivanna described the act as "cheap gimmick" played by the ruling JD (S) to divert public attention from the serious corruption charges faced by Mr. Kumaraswamy and his family members.

    The former Minister said Mr. Venkatesh's "thoughtless act" of wildly waving the controversial photograph in the Assembly and later apologising for the same amounted to a cheap form of publicity stunt. "He has betrayed and insulted the voters of H.D. Kote. It is an insult to even me as I am voter of the constituency," Mr. Shivanna said.

    He appealed to Mr. Venkatesh to apologise to the people of H.D. Kote also just like he apologised for his "disgusting" act in the Assembly.

    He dared the JD (S) leaders to hand over the photograph to the CBI along with the VCDs released by the suspended BJP MLC G. Janardhan Reddy on the corruption charges against the Chief Minister. "Let the CBI take over the entire case. It is fit case for a CBI probe," Mr. Shivanna said.

    Referring to prominent politician Mavinahalli Sidde Gowda's recent decision to quit the Congress in the wake of the former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's entry into the party, Mr. Shivanna said Mr. Sidde Gowda was a "spent force". Mr Sidde Gowda's move to join the JD (S) would not have any bearing on the Congress.

    "There are several people in JD (S) who will not tolerate Mr. Sidde Gowda's entry into the party. There will be an exodus from the JD (S) to the Congress," Mr. Shivanna said.