Audiogate: Govt not keen on Special Investigation Team

Last Updated 21 March 2019, 08:33 IST

It’s been nearly 10 days since the budget session concluded, and the government is showing no signs of constituting the much-debated Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the audiogate.

Legislative Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, who was in the midst of the controversy, following the charges that the BJP had offered him Rs 50 crore to accept resignations of ruling party MLAs - to topple government. The Speaker had asked the government to constitute the team and help clear his name “within 15 days”.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had released the audio clip, just a couple of hours before he presented his second budget on February 8, catching the BJP completely off guard.

Kumaraswamy had charged that Yeddyurappa had summoned Sharanagouda (son of Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda Kandkur) late on February 7 to Devadurga and made the offer. Prior to that Devadurga MLA K Shivanagouda Naik is said to have coaxed Sharanagouda into meeting Yeddyurappa by purportedly stating that the Speaker had been offered Rs 50 crore to accept the resignations of the ruling party MLAs.

The release of the audio clip rocked the Assembly, which transacted no business at all. An emotionally fraught Kumar had raised the matter on the floor of the House, which had led to long-winding debates.

When Kumaraswamy, on the advice of the Speaker announced the constitution of the SIT, the BJP kicked up a ruckus, opposing the proposal. At one point, the Speaker had likened himself as a rape survivor, a comment which he had retracted on the last day of the session.

The government however had not budged from its stance, leaving the BJP wringing its hands in frustration.

Interestingly, the very same government is not too keen on setting up the SIT now. “It was an emotional decision of the day. Moreover, the chief minister has had no time since the session concluded. While the Lok Sabha elections are nearing on one hand, the matter is now before the court,” said a government source, adding that the entire episode would fade to background soon.

Interestingly, Kumaraswamy himself had recently hinted that he was in “no hurry” to seek “vengeance.” He had said that he would not misuse his power to target his political opponents.

Going by the developments, it is unlikely that the SIT will be set up any time in the near future.

(Published 22 February 2019, 17:08 IST)

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