Bengaluru, June 3: A sting operation by a private channel on Karnataka MLAs at the outset of Rajya Sabha elections scheduled to be held on June 11 has sparked ripples in state's political circles, particularly former Prime Minister H D Devegowda's party Janata Dal (Secular).
Four MLAs, Varthur Prakash (Independent- Kolar), G T Devegowda (JDS- Chamundeshwari), Mallikarjun Khuba (JDS- Basavkalyan), B R Patil (KJP- Aland) were secretly filmed by India Today news channel.
Reacting to the operation by the channel, G T Devegowda told OneIndia he has not demanded money from the people he was approached by. "I have not floated any cash demand with them (India Today representatives) in exchange for vote."
Four time MLA of JDS, G T Devegowda narrated the day he met representatives of India Today. He said, "initially when I met them in Bengaluru, they introduced as representatives of a national news channel." They wanted to deliberate on who are the candidates from JDS for RS polls.
Devegowda further said, he informed the press persons that there will be a meeting on same and names would be declared after the meet. At present, he has no knowledge on candidates. After that, G T divulged, he went to a saloon. "Later, again I received a phone call from same people asking the names of candidates. I reiterated the same."
For a meeting with H D Devegowda, G T continued, he went to Hotel Lalit Ashok, city's one of the upscale hotels. There again, private channel asked a same question, to which G T answered- final list will be out after meeting with former Prime Minister. This was shown in the sting operation. Three is no footage of him in the whole sting demanding money, he clarified.
"After I left, G T conveyed, the representatives of the media caught hold of my son-in-law Ram." The press persons told Ram, they are not actually press persons, but middlemen in disguise. They told Ram that they have come on behalf of Congress RS nominee K C Ramamurthy to buy vote.
Ram and press persons had little chat, in which, they offered some money. However Ram by himself did not demand any money to sell vote. "Post departure of press persons, Ram conveyed the conversation to me, to which I advised him to stay away". I had put a word with Kumaraswamy too on the same," G T said.