Yediyurappa says CBI to probe into alleged phone tapping scandal
Bengaluru, Aug 18: Days after charges of phone tapping during the previous coalition government headed by JDS surfaced, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday said he had ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the allegations citing demands by several Congress leaders.
"All political leaders, including CLP leader Siddaramaiah, has sought a high-level probe into the scandal. So I have ordered a CBI probe into it," Yediyurappa told media persons outside his residence in Bengaluru.
An audio recording of a telephone conversation between one Faraz Ahmed and incumbent Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, where the latter was heard lobbying for the Commissioner's post, was leaked to the media days after Rao took charge earlier this month.
This comes amidst widespread allegations that former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had got telephones of several politicians and rebel MLAs tapped during the political crisis in June-July. Former MLA, now disqualified for defection, A.H. Vishwanath had alleged the phones of all rebel MLAs were tapped and the former Chief Minister had even "blackmailed" them with exposure of audiotapes if they did not withdraw their resignations.
What is the phone tapping controversy
The phone-tapping controversy came to light recently after an audiotape in which new city Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao's name purportedly figured was leaked to the media, alleging that he and two other IPS officers were vying for the high-profile post.
Rao was appointed Commissioner on August 2 by Yediyurappa, who was sworn-in on July 26.
Kumaraswamy in denial mode
Kumaraswamy on his part has denied allegations of phone-tapping during his tenure.
"I was the one who kept repeating that the Chief Minister's position was not permanent. There was no need for me to remain in and save the chair (of CM) by tapping phones. Allegations made against me by some people in this matter is far from the truth," he had tweeted.