Around 4 pmon Friday, May 27, 2016, I ran into JD (S) Secretary General Mr Danish Ali, Mr B R Patil, MLA, Mr Vijay Pratap, veteran socialist and organizer of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Global Forum for Comprehensive Democracy) and Mr S M Agha, MLC of JD (S) in the lobby of Hotel Lalith Ashok. I was at the hotel to meet experts attending “Jnana Sangama”, a conference organized by the state higher education department.
After a brief chat, Mr Danish Ali invited us to his room in the hotel, offering to serve tea made by him. In his room, the conversation veered to leaders of undivided Janata Party, their links with socialists, and how Mr H D Deve Gowda was rushed to a hospital in Mumbai by party colleagues when he complained of acute stomach ache during a conference of socialists, in the ‘80s.
Just when Mr Danish Ali finished serving tea, a visitor called him from the lobby, and requested the JD (S) leader to spare a couple of minutes. Soon, two young men walked into the room, settled down next to me, struck a conversation with Mr Danish Ali, and repeatedly requested him for tickets for Finals of the IPL tournament at M Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday, May 29. Mr Danish Ali told them that he, like them, was from New Delhi and therefore could not pull strings to get them tickets. In lighter vein he said “yahan tho aur koi tickets ke bare mein charcha ho raha hai” as we had discussed about his efforts to contest Rajya Sabha polls on a JD (S) ticket well before the duo entered the room. These visitors apparently had spy pen cameras which focused on Mr Patil during this conversation. He was sitting on a chair while Mr Danish Ali, Mr Vijay Pratap and Mr Agha were relaxing on the bed.
When a sting operation of independent and JD (S) legislators demanding money to vote for Congress candidates in Rajya Sabha polls was telecast by a couple of national television channels, the visuals portrayed Mr Patil in Mr Danish Ali’s room sans the audio on any issue which figured during our conversation....