Just hours before BS Yeddyurappa quit as Karnataka Chief Minister in the assembly today, the Congress released two more audio tapes that it claimed proved that the ruling BJP was trying to bribe its lawmakers to raise numbers before the trust vote.
The audio tapes allegedly had, besides Mr. Yeddyurappa, voices of his son B.Y. Vijayendra, B. Sriramulu, BJP MLA, mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, and the party general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao.
In one of the tapes, the Congress claimed, Mr. Yeddyurappa can be heard asking lawmaker BC Patil to get off the bus taking Congress lawmakers out of Karnataka and support the BJP. The Congress alleges that Mr. Yeddyurappa is heard offering him the position of a minister.
Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar dismissed the allegations saying the audio tapes are “fake”, and said the party never resorted to horse-trading. “There is a reference to Amit Shah in it… Amit Shah doesn’t do this… Several such lies have been exposed,” the senior BJP leader, calling the tape “false propaganda,” he said.
The Congress released a series of audio tapes from Friday night, the first being an alleged conversation between Mr. Janardhan Reddy and a Congress MLA, where he is heard assuring the MLA of a one-on-one meeting with BJP national president Amit Shah and a promise of a ministry. It was the mention of the BJP national president that upset the BJP the most. But, the Congress hit back hard with more audio recordings.
The Congress-JDS combine had initially sequestered the lawmakers in Bengaluru hotel but packed them off to Telangana capital Hyderabad about 600 km away to insulate them from pressures from the BJP. Later the Congress also asked its legislators to install a phone recording app so that they can record offers made by the BJP to them.