Bengaluru

Yelahanka MLA alleges plot to kill him by local Congress leader

Yelahanka MLA S.R. Vishwanath  

BJP MLA from Yelahanka and BDA Chairman S.R. Vishwanath alleged on Wednesday that he had uncovered a plot to kill him, hatched by local Congress leader M.N. Gopalakrishna, who contested against him twice and was defeated.

A video, purportedly showing Mr. Gopalakrishna discussing the modalities of eliminating the MLA, was released on Wednesday. Mr. Vishwanath has lodged a complaint with Rajanukunte police, and parallely, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) has launched a probe into the alleged conspiracy.

Mr. Vishwanath said one “Kulla” Devaraj had written to him and the Chief Minister an apology letter on Tuesday night. In the letter, Devaraj claimed that Gopalakrishna, three months ago, had given him a task to kill the MLA, but later the two fell out and the Congress leader had been threatening to eliminate both the MLA and him using contract killers from Andhra Pradesh.

He also attached a “three-and-a-half hour” video conversation between them, of which a 2.5 minute clip has gone viral. In the video, the person — purportedly Goapalakrishna — is seen discussing modalities to kill the MLA.

Mr. Vishwanath said the conspiracy to kill him was born out of frustration of Mr. Gopalakrishna to win an election against him. Both in 2013 and 2018, Mr. Gopalakrishna finished third.

Devaraj detained

CCB officials detained “Kulla” Devaraj and have been questioning him. The agency also questioned Mr. Gopalakrishna on Tuesday but let him go.

Dr. K. Vamsi Krishna, SP, Bengaluru Rural, said based on a complaint by Mr. Viswanath, a non-cognizable case was registered in Rajanukunte police station and an FIR will be registered after taking the court’s permission.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said the State Government had taken the case seriously. “A probe has already been launched and we will also provide security to Mr. Vishwanath,” he said.

Mr. Gopalakrishna, speaking to mediapersons, denied the allegations. “Devaraj recently defected and is now a supporter of Mr. Vishwanath. The video is edited and this is a conspiracy to tarnish my image,” he said. He also demanded a CBI inquiry into the 2018 shootout on Congress leader Kadabagere Srinivas, in which it was alleged Mr. Vishwanath had a role, but the case remains unsolved.

Mr. Vishwanath denied both allegations and said Devaraj was a Congress worker and alleged in the unedited video Mr. Gopalakrishna is heard boasting how he “fixed” him in the Kadabagere Srinivas case.

Political slugfest

The case has become a platform for a political slugfest, even as Opposition Congress has come under attack from the ruling party. KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar, while demanding a probe into the case, also said, “Gopalakrishna has come to me and said he has done no mistake.”

This drew the ire of BJP. “We should not allow for this kind of murderous politics to take root in the State. I hope the Congress also realises it,” said Mr. Vishwanath. Coming shortly before the winter session of the legislature, the case has provided a handle for the ruling party.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:54:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/ccb-intensifies-probe-into-alleged-plot-to-eliminate-mla/article37783979.ece

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