M A I N   N E W S

BJP MLC claims he has tape against party leader
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 15
The Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition has been put to test with BJP Legislative Council member Janardhan Reddy now claiming that he has a tape in which Forest Minister Chennigappa has been recorded making embarrassing comments about Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy. Mr Chennigappa is a senior BJP leader.

The BJP MLC had earlier accused the Chief Minister and the Forest Minister of taking Rs 150 crore in bribe from various mine owners of Bellary district.

The issue of the recorded tape was taken up by the Opposition Congress immediately after the Assembly convened today. Congress members demanded that the tape should be put before the House so that the members could know about its exact contents.

Leader of the Opposition N. Dharam Singh said the Chief Minister should tender his resignation in light of the allegations being made against him.

The expelled JD(S) leader, Siddaramaiah, who tendered his resignation to the Assembly Speaker and is set to join the Congress, also castigated Mr Kumaraswamy. "The allegation is unprecedented," he said adding it should be looked into seriously as the BJP MLC who had accused the Chief Minister of bribery was sticking to his statement and was even ready to prove it.

Forest Minister Chennigappa, who was in the eye of the storm today following the allegations, claimed that the BJP MLC was only trying to blackmail the party and the government. He said if the MLC had proof of bribery or corruption with him he should release the same to the press.

The Chief Minister however tried to side step the issue by not giving a direct answer while talking to newsmen after the Assembly session. "I am waiting for an end to these allegations," he said adding there was a limit to everything. "It will, however, see a positive end," he added. JD(S) legislators have, meanwhile, demanded a thorough probe against the BJP MLC claiming their leader was being dragged into a controversy needlessly. 





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