Kumaraswamy announces SIT probe into audio clip row
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Monday announced a comprehensive SIT probe into an audio clip he released showing BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa in a purported conversation to lure a JD (S) MLA in his alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JDS government.
As the audio row rocked the assembly, Kumaraswamy accepted an "advice" by an emotional Speaker Ramesh Kumar to constitute a Special Investigation Team to probe the episode.
This was to "establish the truth" as his (Kumar's) name had also been dragged with the charge that he had been "booked" for Rs 50 crore, the chief minister said.
"Constitute a SIT to establish the truth. Give me relief in 15 days," a visibly anguished Kumar told Kumaraswamy after members empathised with the Speaker, saying he was known for his integrity and dignity of his office should be protected.
Kumaraswamy said he was also "pained" at the charge against Kumar and accepted his suggestion to form a SIT.
"I seek your permission to form the SIT for a comprehensive probe to bring out the truth," he told the chair.
BJP members insisted that the probe be limited to the charge against the Speaker, as otherwise, the government was likely to misuse the SIT for 'political vengeance.'
The Speaker told Kumaraswamy that "this (SIT) should not lead to a witch-hunt. The probe should be only to establish the truth."
Kumar said in the conversation "one person induces another ....says we have already booked the speaker for Rs 50 crore... about Rs 50 crore having paid to the speaker to accept the resignation of MLAs (of the ruling coalition)."
He also said the man offering allurements appeared to be one holding a statutory position.
The political war over charges of horse-trading had escalated in Karnataka Friday with Kumaraswamy releasing an audio clip in which Yeddyurappa is purportedly trying to lure a JD(S) MLA for destabilising the coalition government.
Opposing the SIT probe into an audio clip containing his purported conversation to lure a JD(S) MLA, Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa Monday said it was not appropriate for an agency under the Chief Minister to inquire into it as Kumaraswamy himself is the "first accused".