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CM releases audio clip on "toppling" bid, Congress to crack

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

The political war over charges of horsetrading escalated in Friday with H D Kumaraswamy releasing an audio clip in which state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa is puportedly trying to lure a JDSMLA for destabilising the coalition government.

Yeddyurappa, who is at the vortex of the row over his alleged bid to poach the ruling coalition MLAs for the past few weeks, was quick to dismiss the clip as "fake" and a "concocted story".

On a day of sudden twists and turns, the decided to crack the and initiate action against four rebel MLAs of the party under the after they skipped a legislature party meeting here.

Lawmakers Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav, Mahesh Kumathali and B Nagendra, who have remained defiant and skipped the CLP meetings on January 18 and Friday despite a whip, would face action, told reporters.

They were also among those absent from the assembly since the budget session began Wednesday.

Besides the four, two MLAs had sought permission for their absence while suspended J N Ganesh, booked on attempt to murder charge after a brawl with a lawmaker colleague recently, is absconding.

said he would write to assembly seeking action against the four errant MLAs under the

The four MLAs had sent letters to him, saying they could not attend the entire budget session of the assembly, he said.

The absence of several MLAs had kept the ruling Congress-JDS coalition on the edge in the backdrop of BJP's reported aggressive moves to poach on the rival legislators.

The BJP has been denying the reports and asked the coalition partners to keep their flock intact instead of attacking it.

Hours before presenting the state budget amid coalition discord and BJP's alleged toppling game, Kumaraswamy dropped the audio bomb at a hurriedly called press conference here, targeting in his attack.

Kumaraswamy alleged that destabilisation efforts were being carried out with the "permission" of Modi and BJP president

"Without the knowledge of the prime minister, is it possible to do all this," an angry Kumaraswamy asked and said Modi should come clean on the issue.

"Modi and are doing all this", he alleged.

The said he would send the audio clips to Modi who, he said, claims about being "the only saviour" of this country.

"Come out with your real face. Your friends (BJP in Karnataka) have exposed the real picture of your face. If you have any morality...," he told Modi and demanded the prime minister take appropriate action.

Kumaraswamy said that during the purported conversation Yeddyurappa had also spoken about a "Rs 50 crore offer to book" the assembly

He claimed there were two audio clips of recorded telephonic conversation between Yeddyurappa and Sharan Gouda, son of JDS lawmaker

He alleged that the was trying to woo with money and other offers.

Sharan Gouda, who was present with the chief minister, alleged Yeddyurappa reached out to him over phone for meeting him at in his attempt to lure his father.

Only part of one audio clip, which was unclear, was played at the press conference.

In the clip, a male voice is heard offering money and ministerial berth, besides assuring about "taking care" of the and the judges in case of the anti- defection law being invoked.

"We have evidence to say it is Yeddyurappa's voice. We will send the audio clips to the laboratory," claimed.

Hitting back, an unfazed Yeddyurappa said Kumaraswamy had "concocted" the story to hide his failures and inability to keep the JD(S) and flock together.

"It is a fake audio. I have not met anyone. Kumaraswamy is trying to hide his failures. This is a drama," the former said.

Yeddyurappa said he went to to visit a temple and flew back to the city.

He claimed the 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

"I will retire from 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.

In his after the CLP, Siddaramaiah said besides the four rebel MLAs, Ganesh was absent and two others -- and B C Patil -- had taken permission to skip the meeting.

has been reeling under political turmoil for the past few weeks that also saw the resort play out with both BJP and Congress sequestering their MLAs to shield them poaching bid.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 17:45 IST