In no end to political drama in Karnataka, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Friday accused BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa of luring a legislator of his ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
Sharanagouda, son of JD-S Gurmitkal legislator Naganagouda Kandakur, Kumaraswamy told reporters that Yeddyurappa had called the former and asked him to go to Devadurga from Yadgir.
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"Yeddyurappa asked me to leave for Mumbai where his son (B.Y. Vijayendra) was present and would make payment to me. But I told him (Yeddyurappa) that I would consult my father (Kandakur) and get back to him," Sharanagouda, who was also present with the Chief Minister, told the media.
Playing the audio tape, Sharanagouda said in Kumaraswamy's presence that Yeddyurappa told him that he had booked the state legislative Assembly Speaker (K.R. Ramesh Kumar) by paying him Rs 50 crore.
Sharanagouda said JD-S Hassan MLA Preetham Gowda and Devadurga MLA Shivanagouda Naik were also present with him when Yeddyurappa called on him.
"Yeddyurappa also offered me a plum ministerial portfolio if I could convince my father (Kandakur) to switch over to the BJP. 'Do not worry, BJP National President Amit Shah has even booked Supreme Court judges'," added Sharangouda, quoting Yeddyurappa again.
However, Yeddyurappa has dismissed the allegations and rubbished it as a "fake" and "concocted" story.
The former CM said he had not met anyone to woo JD(S) lawmaker Nagana Gouda as alleged and that the charge against him was “far from the truth.”
Yeddyurappa said he went to Devadurga, where the MLA’s son Sharan Gouda claimed to have met him and recorded the conversation, to visit a temple and flew back to the city.
Kumaraswamy had “concocted” the story to hide his failures and inability to keep the JD(S) and Congress flock together, Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
“It is a fake audio... I have not met anyone.
Kumaraswamy is trying to hide his failures. This is a drama,” Yeddyurappa said.
He said the Kumaraswamy government had lost the trust of the people and had “no moral right” to continue in office.
“Kumaraswamy himself is a film producer. He is an expert in voice recording.... whatever the charge he has made is baseless,” Yeddyurappa said.
He also dismissed the claim by the chief minister that he had spoken in the audio about a “Rs 50 crore” offer to the assembly speaker.
“I will retire from politics if it (the allegation) is proved...If I had spoken like this (about the speaker), if it is proved... I will resign as an MLA and quit politics.”
(With agency inputs)