Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's decision to order a CBI investigation into the allegations of phone-tapping during the coalition government of the Congress and HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular, has drawn a sharp retort from Siddaramaiah. The government, the senior Congress leader said, should order an investigation into the alleged "Operation Lotus" that the JDS-Congress coalition claims pulled down its government.
"On the telephone tapping issue. Several leaders, including Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, have said it should be probed and truth should come out, so I have decided to order a CBI probe. Tomorrow itself I will order the probe," Mr Yediyurappa told reporters.
The troubled coalition government, which had a wafer-thin majority, collapsed last month after 15 MLAs from the two parties resigned and two Independents switched sides.
The coalition has alleged that the BJP had engineered the defections with money power - much like an earlier occasion when they wanted the government led by BS Yediyurappa to remain in power.
Today, Siddaramaiah tweeted: "I welcome the decision of @BSYBJP to hand over the phone tapping case to CBI. But, in the past, @BJP4India has used CBI as its puppet to unleash its venomous political vendetta. Hope @BJP4Karnataka leaders does not have similar intentions this time."
There have been allegations that Siddaramaiah, who controlled the state's intelligence wing, was in the know about the phone tapping. But Mr Siddaramaiah has denied the allegation by AH Vishwanath -- disqualified MLA of Mr Kumaraswamy's party.
Last week, AH Vishwanath -- the former JDS state chief who turned rebel -- accused the HD Kumarswamy government of tapping phones and spying on more than 300 leaders, including him.
According to reports, phones of those close to Siddaramaiah -- who was the then coalition coordination committee chief -- had come under the watch of the government.
His allegation gave mileage to the controversy that had been swirling around the state for weeks.
Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, Mallikarjun Kharge and home minister in the alliance government MB Patil, have sought an investigation. The other key leader and former minister, DK Shivakumar, has rejected the allegations.
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