Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Monday asked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the audio clip (of alleged conversation of Yeddyurappa with a JD(S) MLA’s son). The speaker also ordered that the probe should be finished within 15 days.
On February 8, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is attempting to lure his party lawmakers as part of what is being called "Operation Lotus". The chief minister also released audio clips of the alleged conversation of Yeddyurappa luring Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs.
Kumaraswamy also alleged that such an attempt was being carried out with the ‘permission’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
"Without the knowledge of the prime minister, is it possible to do all this," Kumaraswamy said, as he lashed out at Modi and asked him to come clean on the issue. “Modi and Amit Shah are doing all this," he added.
Kumaraswamy said he would send the audio clips to the prime minister who, he said, claims about being "the only saviour of this country”.
"Come out with your real face," Kumaraswamy said pointing out at the prime minister.
Kumaraswamy alleged there were two audio clips which had recorded the telephonic conversation between Yeddyurappa and Sharan Gouda, son of JDS lawmaker Naganagouda, whom the BJP leader was trying to woo with money and other offers.
Sharan Gouda, who was present with the chief minister, spoke about how Yeddyurappa allegedly tried to reach out to him over phone and asked him to meet him at Devadurga in his attempt to lure his father.
The only part of one unclear audio clip was played at the press conference. In the clip, a male voice is heard offering money and ministerial berth, besides assuring Sharan Gouda about "taking care" of the speaker and the judges in case of the Anti-Defection Law being invoked.
However, Yeddyurappa has dismissed the audio clips as ‘fake’ and ‘a concocted story’ and said he had not met anyone to woo Nagana Gouda as alleged.
Kumaraswamy had "concocted" the story to hide his failures and inability to keep the JD(S) and Congress flock together, Yeddyurappa told reporters.
"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.
Yeddyurappa dismissed a 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,” he said.