'Cong MLC sent money to top Delhi leaders'

Govindaraju's seized diary creates political storm; party says document fake

'Cong MLC sent money to top Delhi leaders'

 A diary triggered a political storm on Thursday amid claims that a Congress MLC from Karnataka had given about Rs 473 crore to prominent party leaders in Delhi.

A TV news channel reported it was in possession of contents  of the diary seized by the income tax department during a raid on the house of MLC K Govindaraju in Bengaluru.

The raid was conducted in March last year. The report and the diary could not be independently verified by DH.

Govindaraju, said to be close to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, claimed the handwriting in the diary was not his and expressed the suspicion “somebody might have left it” at his house.

While the BJP sought to score a point saying people were “intelligent enough to decode” the initials scribbled in the diary, the Congress retorted the diary was fake. The Congress alleged the BJP was just trying to malign its leaders with an eye on the election season.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “The initials mentioned in the diary are very clear and easy to decode.”

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the story was planted, and dared the channel to run the audio tape in which senior BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar were purportedly heard discussing pay-offs to their party’s Delhi leaders.

According to the report on Thursday, the tax department has said Govindaraju, parliamentary secretary attached to Siddaramaiah, had never filed tax returns. The report claimed he collected slush money and distributed it.

While one of the notings is about Rs 7 crore paid to the media during the elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), another talked about payments to the AICC.

Vora, RG and SG

Under this head, Rs 32 crore is marked against ‘M Vora’ while Rs 6 crore is marked against ‘RG office’ and Rs 8 crore against ‘SG Office.’

Notings purportedly showed about Rs 65 crore against the Bengaluru steel bridge project and Rs 15 crore against ‘MBP’.

In the same page, under the heading ‘ZP-TP elections, it was written ‘AICC. M Vora Rs 23 crore’.

Under ‘BBMP election,’ the diary says Rs 32 crore was received from ‘KJG+MBP’ and Rs 10 crore from ‘HCM’.

For 198 wards, Rs 25 lakh each was given, besides Rs 7 crore to the media, the report claims.

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