Excise Minister Meti quits over sex CD controversy

Excise Minister Meti quits over sex CD controversy

 Senior Congress leader and Excise Minister H Y Meti resigned on Wednesday after a CD purportedly showing him in a sexual act with a woman was made public.

A Kannada news channel aired a clipping in the morning, three days after Ballari-based RTI activist Rajashekar Mulali told the media about the existence of such a video, and claimed that he was threatened with dire consequences by the minister’s supporters if he made the CD public.

Soon after the clipping, which lasts three minutes and 23 seconds, was broadcast, 71-year-old Meti rushed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s residence in Bengaluru and submitted his letter of resignation. Siddaramaiah said he has forwarded the letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala for acceptance.

“Meti resigned voluntarily on moral grounds. The minister claimed that it was a conspiracy against him and that he was trapped in the act. I have ordered an enquiry to get to the bottom of the episode,” he said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will conduct the probe. Siddaramaiah said that it “looked like a conspiracy hatched by political parties”. He did not elaborate. Meti, who represents the Bagalkot constituency, said he resigned to avoid embarrassment to the government and the chief minister.

“I have done nothing wrong; let the enquiry begin,” he said.
State Congress president G Parameshwara admitted that the incident had indeed embarrassed the party. Meti has resigned as minister and the chief minister has already ordered a CID probe into the incident. The party will take appropriate action against him based on the probe outcome.

Sources said a 35-year-old woman used a hidden camera to shoot the video after Meti reportedly sought sexual favours from her when she approached him seeking the transfer of an official in the excise department.

A blackmail theory is also doing the rounds that Meti was asked to cough up Rs 12 crore to ensure the CD is not made public. There are talks about the role of a senior excise department official who wanted to “fix” Meti for transferring him out of Bengaluru.

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