Audio clip war set to rock Assembly session

The BJP on Saturday released a tape in which Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, back when he was an Opposition leader in 2014, is heard demanding Rs 25 crore to give party leader Vijugouda Patil a ticket to the Legislative Council. The clip had made headlines when it first surfaced five years ago.

The legislature session on Monday is expected to witness a storm as the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and the Opposition BJP are set to lock horns over the audio clips both camps have released against each other to score political points.

The BJP on Saturday released a tape in which Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, back when he was an Opposition leader in 2014, is heard demanding Rs 25 crore to give party leader Vijugouda Patil a ticket to the Legislative Council. The clip had made headlines when it first surfaced five years ago.

The BJP, however, claimed this was just one of the many evidences it had to expose Kumaraswamy. “On Monday, on the floor of the House, we will raise this (clip). The Speaker will be shown a video of this in his chamber. Let Kumaraswamy answer,” BJP leader Aravind Limbavali said.

Evidently, the BJP’s tape was a counter to the one Kumaraswamy released in which BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard making offers to the son of a JD(S) legislator. The damning tape also contains an allegation that Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar was offered money to accept the resignations of MLAs in a bid to topple the government.

Kumaraswamy said he would retire if it was proven that the audio clip he released was doctored and that it was not Yeddyurappa’s voice. Yeddyurappa also has offered to retire if it was proven that he said such things about the Speaker.

About the 2014 audio clip, Kumaraswamy said: “I was speaking to BJP’s Vijugouda of Vijayapura, who once happened to be in the JD(S). I was speaking generally in the presence of JD(S) leaders and not behind locked doors. I’m made to appear corrupt by referring to one portion of my speech.”

The chief minister called for an inquiry into the audio clip he released. “The clip mentions names of the Speaker, Amit Shah, the PM and judges. This will harm the democratic set-up. Let the truth come out. Let the Anti-Corruption Bureau probe it,” he said.

Home Minister M B Patil said the government was considering having the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to look into the audio clip that allegedly has Yeddyurappa’s voice. “Where does the money (they offered to the MLA’s son) come from? The BJP says the clip is not true. If we send it to the FSL, the truth will come out,” Patil said.

‘Why shouldn’t we try forming government?’

Senior BJP leader Ayanur Manjunath on Saturday confirmed that the BJP was in touch with the disgruntled legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition.

“Actually, they are in touch with us. We are 104 legislators. We have the moral right to be in the government. Why shouldn’t we try? What’s wrong if we’re tapping into the disgruntlement?” he said.

There was contradiction in what he and fellow party leader Ashwathnarayan said about the audio clip against B S Yeddyurappa. While Manjunath said it was fake, Ashwathnarayan said it was a “sting operation”.

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Audio clip war set to rock Assembly session

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