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Karnataka: Cong leaders "caught" making allegations of corruption against DK Shivakumar in viral video

The party is now in damage control mode


The Karnataka Congress on Wednesday suspended its media coordinator and issued a showcause notice to a former MP after the duo was caught on camera making serious allegations of corruption against the state party chief, also lamenting over his "failed leadership" in the state. 

A video conversation between KPCC media coordinator M. A.  Saleem and a former Congress MP V. S. Ugrappa that went viral on the social media and television channels has hugely embarrassed the national party that is already buckling under a leadership tussle between KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

The two leaders who were to address a press meet on Tuesday, ended up having a private conversation on the dais unmindful of the cameras and the microphones set up by the news channels. 

Saleem who was whispering into the ears of Ugrappa complained that D.K. Shivakumar had been a "collection giraaki" (agent), who had made crores of rupees as commission. While, Ugrappa pointed out that the party, under the leadership of Shivakumar, was "failing to bounce back".

"This is a huge scam. The contractors are from Ballari. If you dig deeper, it will expose him (Shivakumar) too. Earlier, the commission was 6-8 per cent. DKS increased the percentage to 12 per cent. If these boys have made 50 to 100 crores, imagine how many crores DK Shivakumar would have made. He is a collection giraaki," said Saleem.

It is now being speculated that the duo was making references to the alleged corruption in the irrigation department and the recent IT raids on the office and residences of irrigation contractors (also close aides of former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa). Shivakumar was the water resources minister in the previous JDS-Congress coalition government.

Ugrappa said, "I had lobbied hard to make Shivakumar the party chief. But the party is not raising any higher (party is not on the path to recovery)."

Further, Saleem added that Shivakumar seemed to have hypotension issues. "People thinks he is drunk as he stumbles on the words while speaking. But it is perhaps to do with low BP. But Siddaramaiah is not like that. Look at his body language. It is always kadak (firm)," added Saleem. 

While, it is now being speculated if the conversation was deliberate, the party is in damage control mode. 

"The conversation is baseless and without any substance. It might not be a comment against our party chief.  However, Saleem has been suspended from the party immediately. The matter has been referred to the disciplinary committee too. We have issued a showcause notice to Ugrappa," said KPCC working president Saleem Ahmed.

The BJP took to the Twitter to attack both the Congress leaders, with the hashtag "#Brashtaadhyaksha" (#CorruptPresident).

"Shivakumar should answer the people of the state as his own party office has expressed doubts over his involvement in corruption. If his boys have made 50-100 crores, how much money has DKS made? DK Shivakumar's dream of becoming the CM has been scuttled by his own party member. Is it part of Siddaramaiah's masterplan to dislodge DKS?," asked the BJP.


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