BJP helping Cong leader facing IMA probe escape: HDK

BJP helping Cong leader facing IMA probe escape: HDK

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. PTI file photo

In a major expose, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the BJP was trying to help senior Congress legislator R Roshan Baig, who is facing a probe in the multi-crore IMA scam, flee Bengaluru. 

Baig, a former minister, was detained at the Kempegowda International Airport by the Special Investigative Team (SIT) probing the IMA fraud. According to Kumaraswamy, BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa's aide NR Santhosh and BJP leader CP Yogeshwar were with Baig when he was held. 

"Today SIT probing the IMA case detained Roshan Baig for questioning at the BIAL airport while he was trying leave along with BS Yeddyurappa's PA Santosh on a chartered flight to Mumbai. I was told that on seeing the SIT, Santhosh ran away while the team apprehended Mr. Baig," Kumaraswamy said in a tweet. 

Kumaraswamy also tweeted a document to substantiate his claim that Yeddyurappa's aide Santhosh was scheduled to fly with Baig. 

"BJP MLA Yogeshwar was present at the time there. It's a shame that BJP is helping a former minister escape, who is facing a probe in the IMA case. This clearly shows BJP's direct involvement in destabilizing the government through horse trading," Kumaraswamy said. 

In a possible error, Kumaraswamy has wrongly referred to Yogeshwar as a legislator. Kumaraswamy himself wrested the Channapatna constituency from Yogeshwar in the Assembly polls last year.  

But Yogeshwar is said to be playing a key role in coordinating with rebel MLAs to plot the government's downfall. Santosh has been seen with rebel MLAs several times this past week. 

This development comes ahead of Kumaraswamy's confidence motion, which will be taken up July 18, where he will seek to prove his majority.  

In response, the BJP accused Kumaraswamy of using the state machinery to save his government. "Mr. Roshan Baig was given time till 19th July to appear before SIT. This shows how the state government is blackmailing and treating their own MLAs’ using the institutions," the BJP said in a tweet along with a copy of the notice Baig was issued by the SIT.