Karnataka: Yeddyurappa opposes SIT probe into audio clip row

yeddyurappa-ap Opposition leader B.S. Yeddyurappa | Bhanu Prakash Chandra

Opposing the SIT probe into an audio clip containing his purported conversation to lure a JD(S) MLA, Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday said it was not appropriate for an agency under the Chief Minister to inquire into it as Kumaraswamy himself is the "first accused".

He also made the party's stand clear on the matter, saying that they are for a House Committee or a judicial probe.

"The government that is standing in an accused position, the Chief Minister who is the first accused...investigation byany agency under him is not appropriate.

This is the desire of our 104 MLAs and the people of the state," Yeddyurappa,who remained mostly silent in the assembly during the day long discussion on the issue, told reporters.

Stating that the BJP would make clear its desire to the Speaker on Tuesday, he said they would ask him to reconsider his decision.

"Our desire is that inquiry should not happen in haste. We will make it clear once again."

Kumaraswamy Monday announced a comprehensive SIT probe into an audio clip he released, showing Yeddyurappa in a purported conversation to lure a JD(S) MLA in his alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JDS government.

As the audio row rocked the assembly, Kumaraswamy accepted an "advice" by an emotional Speaker Ramesh Kumar to constitute a Special Investigation Team to probe the episode to "establish the truth" as his name has also been dragged with the charge that he had been "booked" for Rs 50 crore.

Yeddyurappa said BJP members had behaved with utmost respect towards the Speaker in the assembly and added that their charge was that Chief Minister Kumaraswamy was the 'motivation' behind the incident.

Pointing out that it was Kumaraswamy who sent Sharan Gouda, son of the MLA to him around 12:30 at night he said "it was he who created confusion, got recorded (the conversation), and on budget day morning, held a press conference and said someone offered Rs 50 crore to Ramesh Kumar and did an unpardonable offence of humiliating Ramesh Kumar."

"It was the Chief Minister of this state Kumaraswamy who did it...people of the state will not accept any inquiry under his hands," he added.

The political war over charges of horse-trading had escalated in Karnataka Friday with Kumaraswamy releasing an audio clip in which Yeddyurappa is purportedly trying to lure a JD(S) MLA for destabilising the coalition government.

Reiterating his party's demand for a House committee or a judicial probe, he said, "we will continue with the same stand tomorrow also. people of the state most probably will agree with us. We are not running away from the probe," he added.

BJP has objected to the SIT inquiry and insisted on constituting a House committee or ajudicial probe and expressed fears that the SIT might be misused with "political vengeance".