I disown the diary completely, a ploy to tarnish my image: K Govindaraju
Deccan Chronicle| bhaskar hegde
When the reporter said he wanted to discuss the whole gamut of issues, Mr Govindaraju refused.
K. Govindaraju, Congress MLC
Nervous. Fidgety. Aggressive. K. Govindaraju, Congress MLC and parliamentary secretary to the Chief Minister, the man in the gunsights of the BJP, whose purported diary had notings of cash transfers to Congress bigwigs was traced by this newspaper to the official residence of Bengaluru Development Minister, K.J. George on Friday.
All smiles at first, the bonhomie was very short-lived, lasting only until this reporter pulled out his mobile telephone to record the interview. He didn’t want that. When the reporter said he wanted to discuss the whole gamut of issues, Mr Govindaraju refused. When questions on corruption were posed, he asked the reporter what the reporter would have done if he was in his place? When the reporter said he would have taken all questions with ease because he was honest, Mr Govindaraju looked flummoxed. Only then did he soften.
Did the IT raid take place?
Yes, they raided in March 2016
Did they seize any diary from you?
I am repeating it again and again. When the IT raid happened, I was not present. There was no diary in the first place. This is a mystery diary. I completely disown it. I said the same when they called for interrogation.
Then, how did this diary come into the IT officers' possession?
You have to ask them
Do you think, BJP cooked up this diary?
I do not know. I can say one thing: somebody has done it to tarnish my political image.
Since the issue blew up yesterday, have you been asked to clarify the situation by the high command?
(Agitated) Why? When there is no diary in the first place, why will anybody ask? No one has asked us.
Let us discuss other issues...
No no. You said you would discuss only diary issue. Now, you want to discuss other issues.
We want to ask about the allegations of corruption made after Karnataka Olympics Meet at Dharwad, as you are the chairperson of Karnataka Olympic Association..
(Bit aggressive) Show me evidence. Who said? Where was corruption? We held the meet with utmost transparency.
It’s alleged to have happened during the constrcution and renovation of stadia.
See, the district authorities do the work. We have not entered there, so where is the scope for corruption?
Why were you given the post of MLC?
I lost the assembly election in 1999 and thereafter, I did not quit the party. I worked for my constituency. I also contributed to sports field. (breaks off) I have to go. You know my friend. I have a crucial meeting.
Ok. Only two more questions. If you are saying no diary and no corruption, where did this kickback for steel flyover come from?
(Displaying irritation on the face) You have to ask who made this allegation. But, I can say one thing: the raid happened in March 2016 and the tender was only finalised in September. How come the flyover is mentioned?
Final question. BDA chairman and Congress MLA K. Venkatesh said last week 'we have to indulge in corruption to pay voters'. This is the circumstantial evidence about corruption in BDA which is commissioning the steel flyover project..
No. I can’t speak on his behalf. You have to ask him. I am sorry. I am getting late, my friend. Have some coffee.