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Narendra Modi, Amit Shah not behind BSY ordering CBI probe into telephone tap scandal: Deve Gowda

Yediyurappa on Sunday had announced a CBI probe into the scandal after his return from Delhi late on the previous day.

PTI|
Aug 19, 2019, 05.59 PM IST
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Deve Gowda
The JD(S) patriarch said political parties and the government, instead of "mudslinging" at each other on such issues, should concentrate on addressing the needs of the people, especially at a time the state was facing a difficult situation due to floods.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were not behind Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's decision to order a CBI probe into the alleged phone-tapping scandal during the previous Congress-JD(S) government headed by his son H D Kumaraswamy.

The JD(S) patriarch said political parties and the government, instead of "mudslinging" at each other on such issues, should concentrate on addressing the needs of the people, especially at a time the state was facing a difficult situation due to floods.

"The Prime Minister has got a lot of national issues, also Home Minister like- Kashmir, Article 370, 35(a), PoK and other things. I will never come to any conclusion that the union government has given instructions, nothing doing," Gowda told reporters here.

Yediyurappa on Sunday had announced a CBI probe into the scandal after his return from Delhi late on the previous day.

"We are in difficult times. It may take time for the central government to give money for relief.

Our focus should be on that,people are suffering...rather than that,this (phone tapping) is being projected in a big way as though it has happened for the first time in Karnataka," he said as he hit out at sections of the electronic media.

On whether BJP was involved in political vendetta against his son by ordering a CBI probe, Gowda said: "these types of things, if you go on allowing (CBI to probe), where is the end?".

"...Siddaramaiah (CLP leader) has said refer taking of MLAs to Bombay and Operation Lotus to CBI, another leader has said why not all (similar things that have happened during the tenure of various CMs in the past). Someone spoke about Yediyurappa's sting operation audio case (where he is reportedly heard luring a JDS MLA's son)...should all these things be referred (to CBI)? Where is the end for these things?" he asked.

"Operation Lotus" is a reference to BJP successfully engineering defection of opposition legislators to ensure stability of the Yediyurappa government in 2008.

As the phone tapping scandal came to light, Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, M Mallikarjuna Kharge and home minister in the alliance government M B Patil had sought a probe, while another key party leader and former minister D K Shivakumar rejected the snooping charges and appeared to side with Kumaraswamy.

According to reports, phones of several political leaders, officials, journalists and also those close to Siddaramaiah, who was the then the coalition coordination committee chief, too had come under watch.

Several BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, have directly accused Kumaraswamy of being behind the episode to save his government, which was then rocked by dissidence within.

The coalition government ultimately collapsed last month with Kumaraswamy losing the trust vote in the assembly.

Pointing out that the issue came to light because of two officers, Gowda said one or two Congress leaders took that as an 'advantage' and suggested an impartial inquiry, which has been taken as a plea by Yediyurappa.

Also BJP people here started putting pressure on him.

"The point is I have never mixed matters. From day one I'm only talking about the concerns of the people," he said, as he pointed out that when Siddaramaiah and Yediyurappa were Chief Ministers in the past, they had stated several times that they would not refer cases to CBI.

The snooping controversy surfaced as Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao earlier this month ordered an inquiry into the phone tapping incident against the backdrop of a recently leaked telephone conversation, purportedly between him and someone in Delhi lobbying on his behalf with some politicians for the post he is occupying now.

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