The Congress party on Friday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refer a diary purportedly detailing pay-offs amounting to over Rs 1800 crore made by former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to the BJP and its senior leadership to the newly-constituted Lokpal for an investigation.
Armed with details of the ‘Yeddyurappa Diaries’, reported by The Caravan magazine, the Congress party launched a new broadside against the Prime Minister and the BJP claiming that “the theft of the chowkidar (the title Modi uses for himself these days) and his friends has been exposed”.
Addressing the press, on Friday afternoon, Congress media cell chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “The Caravan article has revealed details of the Yeddyurappa diaries. In February 2017, the Congress party had released a video of Yedyyurappa and Ananta Kumar (former Union minister who passed away in December last year) which showed that a bribe of Rs 1000 crore had been paid to the BJP leadership and that there was a diary detailing this transaction… There was no rebuttal to our revelations from Yeddyurappa or Kumar and now this diary has come in the public domain.”
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Surjewala alleged that the revelations bring some issues to the fore – “Rs 2600 crore was allegedly extorted of which Rs 1800 crore was paid to the BJP leadership when Yeddyurappa was Karnataka chief minister… the diary has signatures of Yeddyurappa on every page; Rs 1000 crore of this money was allegedly paid to the BJP central committee which has its members people like Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari; individual leaders were also reportedly paid while Rs 250 crore was allegedly paid to some judges too.”
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Stating that the diary had been in the possession of the Income Tax department since August 2017, Surjewala said that the IT officials had reportedly gone to finance minister Jaitley and asked whether or not a probe should be ordered into the claims of the alleged pay-offs but that the officials were not given any directions.
“We want to know why the government is not coming forward to deny the charges or to order an inquiry in the case… the authenticity of this diary has to be investigated and the Prime Minister has to come forward and say whether the claims are right or wrong. I think this is a fit case to be investigated by the Lokpal as its first test case. The ball now lies in the court of the Prime Minister to prove whether Chowkidar chor hai ya chowkidar jaanch ke liye tayyar hai (whether the watchman is a thief or is prepared for a probe),” Surjewala added.
As the Congress went on the offensive with what it thinks is explosive material to target the BJP with during the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, Yeddyurappa told reporters that the allegations were baseless and threatened Surjewala and his party “to prove the allegations at the earliest or face a defamation case.” The former Karnataka chief minister claimed that the diary had been investigated into by the IT officials and found to be fake.
BJP president Amit Shah launched a counter-attack at the Congress, tweeting: “After all the fake issues have collapsed, the desperate are now relying on forgery. The Congress campaign is in shambles. Now even forgery can’t save them. Few loose sheets given by a Congress minister, is only as credible and reliable as Rahul Gandhi’s leadership skills.”
After all the fake issues have collapsed, the desperate are now relying on forgery.— Chowkidar Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 22, 2019
The Congress campaign is in shambles. Now even forgery can’t save them.
Few loose sheets given by a Congress minister, is only as credible and reliable as Rahul Gandhi’s leadership skills.
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