BSY orders detailed probe into phone tapping scandal

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. DH Photo

The phone-tapping scandal took a political turn on Wednesday with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa ordering a detailed investigation into the matter following complaints by several leaders that their private conversations were accessed without a valid reason.

At a meeting with Bengaluru lawmakers and senior party leaders, Yediyurappa told Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar an investigation is needed to bring into account those responsible for arbitrary use of government machinery.

Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who briefed the media after the meeting, said people in responsible positions should not opt for means like phone tapping.

“It is a criminal offence. The probe will reveal who is responsible for the scandal,” he said.

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Responding to concerns that the Union government has delayed providing emergency funds for flood relief, Gowda said Rs 128 crore pending from December has been released.

“The Union ministers have taken note of the floods and will announce a measure very soon,” he said.

BJP MLA R Ashok alleged that phones of several leaders of the BJP and Congress, as well as media persons reporting on politics, were also tapped.

“The MLAs have brought the issue to the chief minister’s notice,” he said.

Works without tender

Dismissing allegations that the BJP government has held up the works ordered by the Congress-JD(S), Ashok said the budget bill of Rs 13,000 crore was not cleared because the finance department had not cleared it as there was only Rs 9,000 crore.

He alleged that several works were taken up without following the transparency rules during the last month of the previous government.

“The works for clearing stormwater drain were taken up without tender. The white-topping projects were bills were fast-tracked though the work was not satisfactory,” he said.

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