Politics over control of Karnataka got murkier on Saturday, with the Congress releasing an audio tape where Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is purportedly heard trying to lure an MLA with the promise of a ministerial berth if he backed the Bharatiya Janata Party government during the trust vote.
The BJP, however, rejected the charge, calling the tape the job of “mimicry artistes” and the “dirty tricks department” of the Congress.
In the tape, released hours ahead of the crucial floor test, Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard speaking to Congress MLA from Hirekerur B C Patil over phone.
The man Congress claimed was Patil is heard congratulating Yeddyurappa on becoming the chief minister, and informing him that he is travelling on a bus to Kochi.
Yeddyurappa pleads with the man, saying “Come back, you will become minister... I will help you in whichever way you want.”
When Patil says he is on a bus with others, Yeddyurappa purportedly tells him to give some excuse like “family reasons” to get down and return.
As Patil insists on clarity about his future if he switches sides, the man claimed to be Yeddyurappa says, “You will become minister, that’s all.”
The voice on the other end then says he has three more people with him. Yeddyurappa tells Patil to bring them too and trust him.
“Come back, you should not go in a bus... If you go to Kochi, you won’t be available and things won’t happen,” the man who Congress claimed is Yeddyurappa, says.
As Patil says he will get back to him in five minutes, the chief minister tells him to get in touch with the resourceful BJP MP and a close aide of the controversial Reddy
brothers Sreeramulu, and inform him about his decision.
“Mimicry artists in demand at @INCKarnataka office #Bengaluru,” Union minister Sadananda Gowda said in a tweet.
“Mimicry Audio’s prepared just to build fake records “Terror” Comedian at the helm of affairs... all anticipating defeat on floor. Dirty tricks department has new boss,” he said in another tweet.