State Congress president DK Shivakumar said that chief minister BS Yediyurappa had ordered a probe into a previous complaint of Congress and JD(S) over phones being tapped in 2019. “He was kind enough to order a CBI probe. The probe is still on and there is no final report yet,” he said.
Former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara also tweeted on the issue, claiming that the controversy had proved the modus operandi used by BJP to come to power in various states. “Brazen horse-trading and misuse of power by BJP has led to the death of democracy in India,” he alleged.
Claims of phone tapping are not new in Karnataka, with the first such case being reported during Ramakrishna Hegde’s time in 1988. Hegde was forced to resign and incidentally, Kumaraswamy’s father and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda was among the supposed victims.
BENGALURU: Congress and JD(S) members on Tuesday reacted to media reports containing allegations that they or their associates were targets of a spyware operation in the run-up to the collapse of the coalition government in 2019.
“This is nothing new. Phone tapping is not something that started after PM Narendra Modi came to power. It has been happening for the past 10 to 15 years, wherein public offices have been misused for the purpose of toppling governments or strengthening party regimes. I am not bothered,” said former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S).
He added that he was aware of such tactics before the Pegasus spyware controversy erupted and knew that two phones carried by his personal secretary, Satish, had been apparently hacked. “I have nothing to worry about, as there is nothing illegal which I have done during my tenure as the CM,” he said.
Senior Congress member Siddaramaiah pointed fingers at BJP. “This dirty game was played at the insistence of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. According to me, in a democracy this is not correct. A judicial probe is a must on this issue,” he said.
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