The Congress alleged that Mr Puttaswamy offered Rs 5 crore and a ministry, or just Rs 15 crore, in return for Hebbar’s support.
Bengaluru: A day after releasing a sensational audio clip in which mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy can be heard trying to lure a Congress MLA by offering to make him a minister so that he “can make 100 times more money”, the Congress on Saturday released three separate audio clips alleging that BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao, former minister B. Sriramulau and Mr Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra had lured Congress MLAs with cash and Cabinet berths to switch over to their side.
Based on one of the tapes, the Congress alleged Mr Yeddyurappa’s son Mr Vijayendra lured a Congress MLA with Rs 15 crore to support the BJP during floor test.
In an audio clip (Asian Age could not verify the authentification of this audio) released by Congress leader V.S. Ugrappa which went viral, Mr Vijayendra is purportedly heard negotiating with the MLA’s wife.
In the call allegedly between BJP’s B.J. Puttaswamy and Congress MLA Shivaram Hebbar’s wife, the former says, “If you want only cash, let us do 15. If you want Cabinet ministry, let us do 5.”
The Congress alleged that Mr Puttaswamy offered Rs 5 crore and a ministry, or just Rs 15 crore, in return for Mr Hebbar’s support. Mr Puttaswamy also allegedly promised to clear the cases against the wife and the son, who are facing a trial in a mining scam.
In another audio clip, purportedly between Mr Vijayendra and Mr Hebbar’s wife, the male voice is heard asking, “He will become a minister, why will you worry about it?”
“There won’t be any disturbance (sic) from the government. Because Yeddyurappa is there, we will benefit, but not at the cost of someone else’s future,” Mr Vijayendra is alleged heard as saying.
As soon as the Congress MLAs were all taken together in a bus to Eagleton Resort, instead of confiscating their mobile phones, the party made all of them download an automatic call recorder which recorded each and every call that was made or received by them. This helped the Congress track the calls allegedly coming from BJP leaders asking them to jump ship.
By Friday, the Congress began releasing the audio tapes of these alleged calls, which helped them build a perception about BJP’s plan to poach Congress MLAs.
First, was a sensational audio clip in which it appeared that mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy was purportedly trying to lure a Congress MLA by offering to make him a minister so that he can make 100 times more money.
On Saturday, it released yet another audio clip of alleged poaching attempt by the BJP, this time accusing Mr Yeddyurappa of trying to lure Hirekerur MLA B. C. Patil by offering him a Cabinet berth. The audio clip surfaced just hours before Mr Yeddyurappa was to face a floor test in the Assembly.
These audio clip releases were smartly produced in a media-friendly format, thus, they were put out very fast and helped the Congress propaganda machinery.
JD(S) state president, H.D. Kumaraswamy was the first one to raise the Rs 100 crore bogey, on Wednesday, where he alleged that some JD(S) legislators had been approached with offers of Rs 100 crore in cash and Cabinet berth if they switched sides.
Although, the BJP denied all the charges levelled by the Congress and JD(S), Mr Yeddyurappa may have given away the secret by conceding in his emotional speech that he had tried to contact some of the Congress MLAs.