From results to resort politics: how Karnataka formed its government

More audio tapes of BJP leaders ‘wooing’ Congress MLAs tumble out

B. Sriramulu. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Congress released a series of audio recordings, where BJP leaders (including B.S. Yeddyurappa) were heard talking to Congress MLAs, allegedly to lure them to their camp ahead of the trust vote on Saturday.

The audio tapes allegedly had, besides Mr. Yeddyurappa, voices of his son B.Y. Vijayendra, B. Sriramulu, BJP MLA, mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, and the party general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao.

Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar dismissed the allegations saying the audio tapes are “fake”, and said the party never resorted to horse-trading.

However, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said the evidence of BJP leaders “offering bribes for Congress MLAs” was strong and they would take it to the logical conclusion and will examine a future legal course.

The Congress released a series of audio tapes from Friday night, the first being an alleged conversation between Mr. Janardhan Reddy and a Congress MLA, where he is heard assuring the MLA of a one-on-one meeting with BJP national president Amit Shah and a promise of a ministry. It was the mention of the BJP national president that upset the BJP the most. But, the Congress hit back hard with more audio recordings.

Two reportedly of Congress MLA from Hirekerur, B.C. Patil, a Lingayat, in which it was alleged were voices of Mr. Yeddyurappa, Mr. Sriramulu and Mr. Muralidhara Rao, trying to engineer the defection of three to four MLAs.

In the audio where the voice said to be that of Mr. Yeddyurappa, he is heard asking Mr. Patil to come to BJP and not go to Kochi. In one, the MLA asks the person said to be Mr. Yeddyurappa what his position would be, he replies: “You will be a Minister, that’s all.” The person is heard telling the MLA to call Mr. Sriramulu and tell him his decision.

In another audio tape, the conversation is purpotedly between Mr. Sriramulu, Mr. Muralidhara Rao and Mr. Patil. The person said to be Mr. Sriramulu is heard promising each MLA “15”, ministries, and assuring them that there won’t be any elections as there will not be any disqualification, since their man will be the Speaker. A voice, said to be of Mr. Rao, reiterates that there won’t be any elections.

Earlier in the day, the Congress released another audio of a conversation allegedly between the wife of a Congress MLA and Mr. Vijayendra and B.J. Puttaswamy. The person said to be Mr. Puttaswamy is heard offering “15” without a ministry, and “5 if made a Cabinet Minister”.

Later the voice said to be of Mr. Vijayendra is heard assuring her that the mining case against her son will be looked into and “it won't be a problem since their government will be there”.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 2:17:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/more-audio-tapes-of-bjp-leaders-wooing-congress-mlas-tumble-out/article23939081.ece

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