Phonegate hits coalition, Congress knives out for HD Kumaraswamy
Bengaluru: Once partners in government, the Congress and Janata Dal(S) are rapidly falling out over the audiogate scandal. Several Congress leaders, with the exception of former minister, D K Shivakumar, have called the alleged phone tapping a criminal offence and demanded action against those involved. With Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy accused of authorising it, their target is clear.
Responding to reports that the phone of his media adviser, Prabhakar was tapped, former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah tweeted, "Phone tapping is a serious offence. Let there be an investigation into it and action taken against those responsible, if proved".
Another senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge said it was unbecoming of any government to indulge in phone tapping, which was a criminal offence.
He recalled that the late Ramakrishna Hegde had resigned as Chief Minister after a few Congress leaders accused his government of tapping their phones.
'Whoever has done this has to face the law,' he added. Former minister and Mysuru Congress MLA Tanveer Sait demanded a high-level probe into the alleged tapping, saying leaders responsible must be punished.
Former home minister, M B Patil too called for a fair probe into the audiogate scandal, saying that it was not right to tap the phones of senior politicians.
Mr Shivakumar was perhaps the only Congress leader to defend Mr Kumaraswamy, insisting that he had issued no such order during the 14-months of the coalition government and accused the BJP of creating a new drama to divert people's attention from its 'inept handling' of the floods in the state. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Mr Kumaraswamy reiterated that he was innocent and was ready to face any inquiry ordered by the Yeddyurappa government into the alleged phone tapping....