Karnataka assembly speaker compares himself to rape victim for being questioned repeatedly

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New Delhi | Updated: February 13, 2019 10:42:56 AM

The speaker made the statement during the discussions in the assembly over the SIT probe into the audio clip. Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy had announced on Monday that an SIT will investigate the audio clip.

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Karnataka assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar on Tuesday compared himself to a rape victim after he was subjected to repeated questioning on accusations that he featured in the contentious audio tapes, over which a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted by the government.

The speaker made the statement during the discussions in the assembly over the SIT probe into the audio clip showing BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa in a supposed bid to attract a JD(S) MLA in an alleged attempt to destabilize the Congress-JDS government. The Speaker, referring to repeated charges against him, stated that his “situation was like that of a rape victim, as they too are supposedly questioned about the incident repeatedly.”

Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy had announced on Monday that an SIT will investigate the audio clip. This was in response to an “advice” by an emotional Speaker to set up a SIT to probe and “establish the truth” as his name has also been dragged with the charge that he had been “booked” for Rs 50 crore. The stalemate between the government and the opposition continued in the assembly on Tuesday over the SIT probe. The Speaker called a meeting of floor leaders on Wednesday to resolve the issue, as the BJP stood firm on its opposition to the SIT, saying it could be misused for “political vengeance.”

“Let’s discuss and try to find a solution,” the Speaker announced while he adjourned the assembly proceedings to the next morning.

The Speaker’s decision came after Yeddyurappa, the leader of the opposition, accused the speaker that the Chair made no effort to seek the opposition’s opinion before making a decision on the SIT for enquiry.

“SIT is being imposed upon us forcefully,” he said. Yeddyurappa also expressed his uneasiness over the SIT as it is under the Chief Minister and said he will quit politics if his presence was proved during conversations in the audio on a “Rs 50 crore offer to book” the Speaker, as it was alleged by Kumaraswamy.

He accused the Chief Minister of conspiracy against him by “twisting facts” and said that Kumaraswamy had released the audio partially in a bid to save his CM seat. The BJP has objected to the SIT under the CM and wanted a House committee or a judicial probe as the Chief Minister was a party in the case.

The political slugfest over charges of horse-trading escalated in the state on Friday with Kumaraswamy releasing the audio tape. Opposition members requested the Chair to reconsider the decision to hand over the probe to the SIT.

Kumaraswamy on Friday had claimed that there were two audio tapes of recorded telephonic conversation between BJP Karnataka chief Yeddyurappa and Gurmitkal MLA Nagangouda’s son Sharan Gouda.

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