MLC in Karnataka at 40 crore, negotiable
Bengaluru: In huge embarrassment for the JD(S) and its claims of “clean politics,” a CD showing former CM, H.D. Kumaraswamy demanding crores from one Vijugouda Patil of Bijapur, for allotting a ticket for the Legislative Council polls, surfaced on Saturday and was aired by almost all regional television channels.
The audio transcript of the CD played on the channels was of a conversation between Mr Patil and Mr Kumaraswamy. The former is heard seeking a ticket for the MLC election, only to be told by the JD(S) leader that his MLAs were insisting on Rs 1 crore each and he needed Rs 40 crore to satisfy them. Mr Patil then offers him Rs 25 crore.
But not be persuaded, Mr Kumaraswamy recalls that two years ago, Congress nominee, Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi lost because another candidate, M.R. Seetharam used money power to win. “It will be difficult for me to run the party without money,” he is heard arguing.
At one point, Mr Kumaraswamy also takes on Lingayats for not backing him and his party in north Karnataka. ‘‘Can a Lingayat pontiff get a vote for the JD (S) in north Karnataka?’’ he asks. When Mr Patil insists that the party field him, he demands, ‘‘What will you do in Bijapur? Can you change the face of Bijapur by becoming MLC?’’
‘Are other party leaders Harischandras?’
Confronted with the embarrassing CD later in the day, Mr Kumaraswamy did not deny it was his voice and instead defended the conversation recorded. In a statement he said, "I have merely discussed the state of present day politics. I should not be portrayed as a villain for discussing the hard realities of public life. Which other party's leaders are Harischandras? It is unfortunate that the media is projecting things as if JD(S) MLAs have committed some blunder. I am ready to discuss the matter both inside and outside the Legislature."
Mr Patil too did not deny the conversation and told reporters later that some Congress workers may have recorded it to drive a wedge between him and Mr Kumaraswamy , who he claimed was his friend.