BribeGate diary: As if the series of electoral losses in various states were not enough, Congress has found itself in another tight spot and this time it is in alleged bribery cases. Reports have emerged about details of a secret diary of Karnataka Congress MLC K Govindaraju. He is also the parliamentary secretary to Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. The explosive details have surfaced just about a month after Congress VP Rahul Gandhi accused PM Narendra Modi of corruption – he based his accusation on the so-called Sahara-Birla diaries. The reports about the new diary, say that it contains information about payment details that Karnataka ministers made to Congress high command around the Lok Sabha elections. The leaked parts of the diary were reportedly recovered from Govinda Raju during an Income Tax raid. IT sleuths while conducting raids at the homes of Congress leaders in Karnataka, had recovered the diary. This has resulted in a bitter battle between BJP and Congress breaking out, where the former has called for the immediate resignation of CM Siddaramaiah.
Congress is now accusing the BJP of a ‘calculated strategy’ to bring up the issue at an opportune moment. Congress is already witnessing losses in various parts of the country, and with the elections coming up in Karnataka this move by BJP is likely to end up being paying a big dividend. The diary contains details about payments along with names and initials of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former MP CM Motilal Vora. However, Congress leaders have denied the allegations in the BribeGate case claiming that the leaked images of the diary are fake. According to a report in Bangalore Mirror, some of the ministers have said that they have been summoned by IT dept officers.
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Meanwhile, investigation agencies are reportedly working on the case and have yet not revealed if the initials like SG, RG and MV indeed indicate the names of the Congress leaders. In the diary, there is also a mention of Rs 65 crore bribe which was allegedly paid for a steel flyover project in Bangalore. The flyover project has been mired in a lot of controversies where the BJP has repeatedly accused it of rampant corruption.
This case is similar to the charge made by BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa against Siddaramaiah, where he accused the CM of paying over Rs 1000 crore to the Congress high command to save his seat. He had also alleged that Govindaraju too had carried the money to the national capital. Govindaraju then wrote a letter to IT officers asking details about the case, which went in BJP’s favour as they accused him of accepting his guilt.