Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Congress accuses BJP candidate B Sreeramulu of bribery charges

New Delhi: In a huge embarrassment to the BJP, just 48 hours before polling in Karnataka, a video of a sting operation surfaced in Bengaluru in which the party’s Bellary MP B Sreeramulu is seen talking about Rs 160 crore he had paid as bribe to a Supreme Court judge in a mining case. He is purportedly talking to the judge’s son-in-law in the tape. (The Free Press Journal cannot vouch the authenticity of the video.)

BJP President Amit Shah dismissed the tape as “yet another fake video” when asked about it at a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday, just before the close of campaign.

At a press conference, the Congress alleged that the video shot in 2010 showed Sriramulu and four “middlemen” discussing “bribe deals” with then chief justice KG Balakrishnan’s son-in-law Sriranjan in a case involving the Obulapuram Mining Company owned by Janardhana Reddy.


 
It will be recalled that the illegal mining activities were stopped by the High Court. Later, in May 2010, the aforesaid judge allegedly passed a favourable order.

Though an 8-year old incident, the disclosure has come as a massive blow to the BJP since Sreeramulu is also a candidate in the Assembly elections and a Deputy CM aspirant. A close associate of what is known in Karnataka as the “Reddy-Yeddy Gang,” Sreeramulu already has three cases pending against him.

The Congress was quick to tweet, asking the people of Karnataka: “Would you want to hand over keys to such a Chowkidar Modi who has given tickets to such crooks?” Incidentally, the then Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan had passed the favourable order on the last day of his tenure. He retired on May 12, 2010.

His son-in-law, purportedly seen in the video, denied the charge as “purely political” soon after Amit Shah asked the media not to believe the video. In reply to a question, he said the BJP has nothing to do with Bellary’s controversial mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, asserting that his word is final. Shah was responding to Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s claim that Reddy was helping the party.




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