Karnataka CM Yediyurappa to order CBI probe into phone tapping
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said that he will order an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged phone tapping incidents during the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government. This comes after several Congress leaders, including K Siddaramaiah and Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded a probe into the phone tapping allegedly done at former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's behest. Here's more.
"On the telephone tapping issue, several leaders, including Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, have said it should be probed and truth should come out, so I have decided to order a CBI probe. Tomorrow itself I will order the probe," Yediyurappa said. He said the people of Karnataka also expect a detailed inquiry into the matter and want the culprits to be punished.
Yediyurappa's announcement of the CBI probe comes at a time the phone-tapping case is gaining political steam with disqualified JDS MLA, AH Vishwanath, accusing the previous coalition government of tapping phones and spying on over 300 leaders, including him. He claimed the alleged phone-tapping couldn't have been done without the knowledge of the then CM Kumaraswamy as the intelligence department was under his control.
Several senior Congress leaders like Siddaramaiah, Mallikarjun Kharge, and former Karnataka Home Minister (coalition government) MB Patil, sought an inquiry into the phone tapping. Reportedly, phones of leaders close to Siddaramaiah, who was the coalition coordination committee chief, were under the Kumaraswamy-led government's watch. However, Congress leader and former state minister DK Shivakumar denied phone-tapping/spying allegations under the coalition government and sided with Kumaraswamy.
Meanwhile, many BJP leaders, including former CM Jagadish Shettar, directly accused Kumaraswamy of being behind the phone surveillance episode in order to save his government which faced crisis due to internal dissidence. However, the Kumaraswamy-led government had collapsed in July after losing the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly. But the former Chief Minister from JD(S) has denied all the allegations leveled against him.
"There was no need for me to remain in and save the chair (of CM) by tapping phones," Kumaraswamy tweeted in Kannada. "Allegations made against me by some people in this matter is far from truth," he posted on Twitter.