Decade-old bribery allegation returns to haunt H D Kumaraswamy, SIT summons Janardhana Reddy

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A decade-old bribery allegation is all set to make a comeback to haunt H D Kumaraswamy. A special investigating team of the Lokayukta has sought evidence from former BJP leader and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy for allegations of bribery that he levelled against Kumaraswamy in 2006. Reddy who was then a BJP MLC has alleged that Kumaraswamy who was then the Chief Minister of Karnataka had sought Rs 150 crores in bribes from mining company owners.

H D Kumaraswamy

The Lokayukta SIT has now sent a notice to Janardhana Reddy asking him to provide video proof to substantiate his allegations. In 2006, Reddy had claimed that he had CDs of Kumaraswamy seeking bribes from mining company owners to renew licenses of mining tenders in Chitradurga. Reddy who had initially claimed that he had incriminating evidence against Kumaraswamy, then Forest Minister C Chennigappa and then Home Minister M P Prakash had ultimately failed to provide the same.

A blurred video footage purportedly containing a conversation between mine owners and an exporter over the 'money collection' was only played at a press conference by Reddy in 2006. He had claimed that he would produce more evidence 'at a later stage'. This evidence, however, never surfaced.

The SIT that is currently probing charges of corruption and illegal grants of permissions to Janthakal mining company has sought evidence in bribery charges against Kumaraswamy. The notice to Reddy has been sent on a day when Kumaraswamy appeared before the SIT for questioning in the Janthakal case.

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