After Congress alleges huge bribery charge, Yeddyurappa says they are frustrated

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Mar 22: Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa on Friday hit back at the Congress saying that the party and its leaders are 'bankrupt of ideas'. Responding to media reports that he paid bribes of Rs 1800 crore to the BJP's top brass, Yeddyurappa said the purported payments had been inquired into already and the documents had been found to be fake.

Yeddyurappa said,''Congress party and its leaders are bankrupt of ideas, they are frustrated with growing popularity of the Modi ji, they have lost the battle before it began. I-T Department officials have already proved that the documents are forged and fake.''

''They have planted the story in the media to gain mileage in the upcoming elections. Issues raised by Congress leaders are irrelevant and false. I'm discussing with the senior advocates to file a defamation case against the concerned person also,'' he said.

Earlier in the day, the Congress sought an investigation by the Lokpal into a media report that alleged bribes of Rs 1800 crore were paid by former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to the BJP's top brass.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressing a press conference, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come forward and clarify whether bribes to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore were taken by the BJP leaders or not.

Speaking at press conference, Randeep Surjewala said,"We have caught a theft and the thief. BJP leaders have been caught in a corruption case." Surjewala is reading the contents of the diary which holds details of a transaction between BS Yeddyurappa and BJP leaders.

"From this diary, five facts come out. Close to Rs 2690 crore was sought and 1800 crore was given to BJP. Yedyurappa was the CM during the period. There are his signatures on each page. This was given to BJP's central team," Surjewala said.

He also said,'' "The committee has big names such as Modi and others. Judges and lawyers have been given Rs 250 crore to Rs 50 crore. The diary have been with the income tax dept since Aug 2017 according to the report by The Caravan."

Hitting at the Modi government Surjewala says,"If there is no truth to this diary then why did the BJP not get an inquiry done on this. If this true then is this not a first-hand report of BJP's corruption? Why is there no independent inquiry of this? Now there is also Lokpal and other independent bodies in place. Chor chowkidaar is answerable for this."

The Caravan report says "Yeddyurappa recorded these alleged payouts in a Karnataka state assembly legislator's 2009 diary, in Kannada, in his own hand.... The copies of the diary pages note that Yeddyurappa paid the BJP Central Committee Rs 1,000 crore; that he paid the finance minister Arun Jaitley and the transport minister Nitin Gadkari Rs 150 crore each; that he gave the home minister Rajnath Singh Rs 100 crore; and that he paid the BJP stalwart LK Advani and the senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi Rs 50 crore each. Besides this, the entry notes, Yeddyurappa paid Rs 10 crore for 'Gadkari's son's marriage'."

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's press meet, which has been deferred twice since morning, the party has said it will come up with a "stunning expose".

Also Read | Cong's press briefing deferred; BJP takes jibe says,'it's better not to spread lies in morning'

Earlier, Congress Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi shared a report poublished by The Caravan which cites a diary to claim that BS Yeddyurappa made pay outs of over Rs 1,800 crore to the BJP's national leaders such as Jaitley, Gadkari among others, while he was Karnataka CM. Speculation is rife that contents of this diary will be made public by Rahul Gandhi in a press conference shortly.

Meanwhile, former international cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP today and is expected to be fielded by the party in the Lok Sabha polls from one of the seats in the national capital. The former opening batsman joined the party in New Delhi in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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