Congress releases audio tape of Reddy ‘wooing’ its MLA

Conversation allegedly between Janardhan Reddy and Basanagouda Daddala

Published - May 18, 2018 11:28 pm IST - Bengaluru

A day before the B.S. Yeddyurappa-led BJP government goes for a floor test in the Legislative Assembly, Congress leaders released a recording of a telephonic conversation, purportedly between former mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy and Basanagouda Daddala, a Congress MLA, where the former is heard trying to woo the latter to the BJP camp.

V.S. Ugrappa, Congress MLC, released the recording on Friday and said it clearly proved that the BJP was resorting to dirty tricks to woo MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) combine and engineer defections. He pointed out that Mr. Reddy, whom BJP national president Amit Shah had distanced himself from, was heard trying to fix an appointment with the latter and poach MLAs. “Janardhan Reddy and B. Sriramulu are playing the same role they played soon after the 2008 verdict through Operation Kamala,” he alleged.

In the recording, the person alleged to be Mr. Reddy is heard telling the MLA that his “good time has begun” and that he would take him directly for a “one-on-one meeting with the BJP national president”. The person is also heard saying that the MLA would “earn a hundred times what he spent” during the elections if he switched sides. He cites the examples of Shivana Gouda Nayak and Raju Gouda as MLAs, who had switched over during Operation Kamala and were prospering now after listening to him.

In response, the receiver of the call, purportedly the MLA, is heard rejecting the offer and saying that the Congress had given him ticket and made him MLA even though he lost in multiple elections earlier.

Mr. Daddala, who is from the same Nayak community as Mr. Reddy’s close friend and senior BJP leader, Mr. Sriramulu, contested from Raichur Rural constituency in 2008 on BJP ticket and again from Manvi, as a candidate of Sriramulu’s BSR Congress, in 2013. He lost both times, but won in this election from Raichur Rural segment after joining the Congress.

BJP’s response

Responding to the allegation, Union Minister and Karnataka in charge Prakash Javadekar said it was “fake” and put forward by the “dirty tricks departments of the Congress” to defame Mr. Amit Shah. He said a forensic investigation would prove that the tape was fake.

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