The Congress today suspended its media coordinator M A Saleem while issuing a show cause notice to another leader V Ugrappa after the two were caught on camera discussing alleged corruption of state party chief, D K Shivakumar.
Predictably, the development has embarrassed the party no end, especially as it prepares to fight the two byolls in Hanagal and Sindagi on 30 October. Besides ,it also comes at a time when Shivakumar is making a desperate attempt to revive the party in the state while eyeing the chief minister’s position ,post the 2023 elections.
The development follows a video that went viral highlighting a private conversation between Saleem and Ugrappa just before a press conference that they were set to address. The microphones caught the duo whispering about the alleged corruption of Shivakumar .
The conversation centred around how the state Congress chief and his people had apparently made huge sums as commission with the rate being about 12 per cent. “This is a huge scam. . If you dig deeper, it will expose him,” was part of the explosive content between the two Congressmen that was caught on tape.
It is learnt that the discussion revolved around the time when Shivakumar was the water resources minister during the JDS-Congress coalition government.
Significantly, last week, the IT authorities had raided a large number of contractors, engaged by the irrigation department, even unearthing unaccounted money exceeding Rs 700 crores. The residence of A Umesh, one -time aide of former chief minister, B S Yediyruappa , was also searched in this connection. He was reported to have close links with the department concerned.
Meanwhile, in the controversial video , Ugrappa is also heard lamenting about the failed leadership of Shivakumar as the state Congress head.
Shivakumar , on his part, agreed that the issue had damaged the party while claiming that the conversation had nothing to do with him or the Congress. He was also quick to add that there was no conspiracy against him and nor was he bothered in any way.