Sting operation was to finish me off politically, says Shivakumar

Sting operation was to finish me  off politically, says Shivakumar

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar on Thursday said the sting operation conducted against him by TV9 was the handiwork of his political rivals in cahoots with the television channel’s head honcho to “finish me off politically.”

“My opponents, who are hand in glove with the TV9 Kannada channel’s director Mahendra Mishra, have done this with the sole aim of sabotaging 30 years of my political career,” the minister told reporters here.

Two TV9 journalists, who botched up the ‘sting’, are now in judicial custody facing charges of bribing the minister. Shivakumar said his rivals had tried to “trap” him with several inquiries earlier, too, but none ever proved him “guilty.”

There was an extortion racket, he said, but did not elaborate on whether he had received any extortion calls.

Shivakumar alleged that the sting operation was planned against six other ministers, including the chief minister. He said he would reveal further information through an appropriate authority. “I will take the help of the judiciary to seek justice.”

The minister said the two journalists approached him with a solar power project proposal. “They had planned everything in detail – right from their accent to the attire they wore – to convince me that they were businesspersons from outside the State. They even gave me bouquets,” he said.

But his “sixth sense” made him suspicious about the duo’s intention.

Tender process

He said he asked them take part in the tender process for the project, but they approached him again saying they wanted to give him gifts.

The television channel had by then already prepared promos about the trap, he said.
Attributing his “sixth sense” to his three decades of experience as a politician, he said he had come to know about their identities in advance. He later took the help of the police to “defend” himself, he said.

Prepared for the show

On the day the reporters were take into police custody, they had approached the minister in the morning. He said he had asked them to come back in the evening, by which time he had “prepared himself.”

“They told me they had brought me gifts. They gave me money. I said the officials in my department would take care of it, and asked them to hand it over to them. Actually, these officials were policemen. The journalists handed over the money to them believing them to be my department officials,” he said.

On reports that the journalists were beaten up by his men, Shivakumar said the charges were false.

“Finding out who is behind the operation is more important. The police were witness to the proceedings,” he said. The minister said he felt nothing about what happened to the two journalists who are behind bars.

“They came to trap me and I defended myself.”

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