Video out; Sriramulu claims Yeddyurappa received Rs 250 cr

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BS Yeddyurappa-Janardhana Reddy
Bangalore, Mar 14: This piece of news can be damning for Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and could stub his chances of coming back to power in the state any time in the near future. A latest video that has come out shows mining baron, Janardhana Reddy loyalist and former BJP minister B Sriramulu claiming to have paid Yeddyurappa close to Rs 250 crore.

The matter has all the potential to spiral into something huge that could cost the most hurt to Yeddyurappa. It is reported that the Reddy Brothers doled out huge amount of cash to bring the BJP to power in Karnataka. The video was aired by a Kannada channel on Tuesday that shows Sriramulu making the claim. On seeking his comments on the video, he flatly denied any such incident.

The footage aired shows Sriramulu talking to a Hindu religious leader where he said that the mining barons had paid Yeddyurappa over Rs 250 crores, first Rs 200 crores and then Rs 10 crores for six to seven months. This clandestine transaction was carried out during the formation of the first BJP government in the state.

The Kannada channel that showed the footage claimed that the video was not shot by them but was acquired from sources.

The footage shows Sriramulu speaking to Sri Thontadarya Swami of Thontada Math (religious institution) in the north Karnataka town of Gadag. He was heard speaking of the role played by the Reddy Brothers in bringing the BJP into power in the state in May 2008.

He commented on how the Reddy's had given Rs 200 crore to Yeddyurappa in the aftermath of the fallout in the Janata Dal-Secular and BJP coalition in 2007. The money was understood to be channeled for the party's activities in the run up to the assembly elections in Apr-May 2008.

The video in Kannada quotes Sriramulu saying to the Swami, "When the coalition fell we gave Yeddyurappa Rs 200 crores. After forming the government, Yeddyurappa wanted Rs Six or seven crores every month to strengthen the party and stabilize the government. For six or seven months, we gave Rs 10 crore each month."

Sriramulu has denied the existence of such a video and stated, "how can one discuss money matters with a religious leader". Yeddyurappa also refused to comment on the episode. The Opposition has taken up the matter and has sought a CBI probe on all the allegations.

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