With CD of BSY-Ananth chair talk, Cong turns tables on BJP

The ruling Congress on Monday hit back at BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa by releasing a CD, accusing him of having paid a huge sum of money to his party high command.

Five ministers and two party legislators held a joint press conference at Vidhana Soudha and claimed that the CD is  proof of Yeddyurappa having paid the money to BJP high command when he was the chief minister. The CD contains a 54-second video and audio wherein Yeddyurappa and Union Minister Ananth Kumar reportedly talk about the kickback charges. The Congress did not reveal as to how it sourced the information. Sources in the party said it got the clips from a TV news channel.

The Congress leaders – Minister K R Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Rayareddy, M B Patil, Sharanprakash Patil, Eshwar Khandre (all ministers), MLCs V S Ugrappa and H M Revanna –  claimed that the conversation between the two leaders was recorded on the sidelines of the executive committee meeting of the Bengaluru city unit of the BJP held on Sunday.

However, the audio lacks clarity. The two leaders can be heard discussing the kickback issue as another Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda delivers his speech at the meet. The two leaders vaguely talk about something they would have given to somebody. Nowhere in their conversation do they mention specifically about money and name of any person or organisation that received the money, as claimed by the Congress leaders.

Ugrappa demanded that the Centre order a judicial probe into the issue of Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar having paid money to the party in the past.

Yeddyurappa had on Sunday accused Siddaramaiah of having taken a Rs 150-crore kickback for sanctioning the controversial steel flyover project in Bengaluru and Rs 65 crore of the amount was paid to the Congress high command. The BJP leader claimed that this information was available in a diary maintained by Congress MLC K Govindaraj, whose residence was raided by the I-T department recently. The Rs 65 crore is part of Rs 1,000 crore that Siddaramaiah has paid to the high command, according to Yeddyurappa.

The conversation

“You have given it to the high command... I have also given…But I have not given Rs 1,000 crore… As you had given it then, he has also given it seems. This implies that he (Chief Minister) has admitted it,” Ananth Kumar apparently tells Yeddyurappa. To this, Yeddyurappa asks: “Does anybody write down what is given?” Then Ananth Kumar says, “Slush rebounds on throwing a stone into it. Nobody will believe if the Chief Minister says he has not given Rs 1,000 crore. Everybody will think that he has given the money.”

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