Bengaluru: “Tapping of phones is common in Karnataka,” he claims matter-of-factly. Not stopping there , senior Congress MLA, R Ramalinga Reddy alleges his phone was tapped when he resigned from the state Assembly during the last Congress-JD(S) coalition government in protest against some senior leaders being ignored in the Cabinet expansion.
Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Mr Reddy claimed that phone tapping would continue no matter which party came to power in the state.
“The previous Congress-JD(S) government headed by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy tapped my phone as I had joined rebel Congress and JD(S) legislators. The Chief Minister of any party engages a set of police officials both 'officially' and 'unofficially' to tap the phones of important leaders of both ruling and opposition parties to keep a tab on what's cooking on the political front,” he alleged.
What’s more , he claimed that the phones of a few journalists close to some politicians were also tapped to keep the government of the day informed about their discussions.
“The Union home ministry had tapped my phone while I was Karnataka home minister, probably at the instance of the BJP- led NDA government, to keep a tab on Karnataka politics as senior policemen brief the home minister and Chief Minister every morning. In fact, when I came to know about it I revealed it on the floor of the state Assembly when a few BJP members accused the government of tapping their phones. Where I am concerned, there is nothing confidential as I discuss everything openly without fear of anyone. The Union home ministry is authorised to tap phones under certain circumstances but now every government does it regularly,” he charged.
As for the latest “audiogate” scandal , he believes it is getting over publicised as disqualified JD(S) MLA, A H Vishwanath is involved. “I do not want to give it much importance as it has been done by all previous governments and will be done by the present government headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa,"
he claimed in summation.