In a dramatic move hours before presenting the state budget, Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday released an audio clip of an alleged conversation of state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa to lure a JDS MLA to destabilise the coalition government in the state.
Yeddyurappa described the clip as "fake" and a "concocted story".
In sudden twists and turns, the Congress also decided to crack the whip and initiate action against four rebel MLAs under the Anti- Defection law after the legislature party meeting here just before the session commenced its sitting.
He said barring the four and J N Ganesh, all other lawmakers attended the CLP meet.
Two MLAs Roshan Baig and B C Patil, who also did not participate, had taken prior permission, he said.
Ganesh is declared absconding after an alleged brawl with a colleague lawmaker at a resort recently.
Siddaramaiah said the four MLAs had sent letters to him, saying they could not attend the entire budget session of the assembly.
Adding a new element to the political turmoil, Kumaraswamy dropped the audio bomb at a press conference, to back his claim about BJP's alleged toppling game.
"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".
"Come out with your real face," Kumaraswamy said pointing out at Modi.
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.
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.
Hitting back, Yeddyurappa dismissed the audio clips as "fake" and "a concocted story" and said he had not met anyone to woo Nagana Gouda as alleged.
Yeddyurappa said he went to Devadurga 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.
He said Modi was mouthing platitudes about the political system but on the other hand, his party colleagues were "demolishing" it.
"Your friends (BJP in Karnataka) have exposed the real picture of your face. If you have any morality...I demand that the prime minister should take appropriate action," Kumaraswamy said.
Yeddyurappa dismissed a claim by the chief minister that hehad spoken in the audio about a "Rs 50 crore" offer to the assembly speaker.
Both Congress and JDS have been accusing the BJP of making "desparate" attempts to dethrone the Kumaraswamy government with allurements and even intimidation, and challenged the saffron party to move a no confidence motion.
BJP, on other hand, has dismissed the charge, saying the party was being blamed for the inability of the two coalition partners to keep their flock together.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)