Bengaluru, Mar 31: In another setback for Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the Karnataka HC has granted permission for an investigation into the charges that BSY was behind 'Operation Kamala'.
The court has now allowed for an inquiry into the FIR filed by JDS leader Nagangouda Patil's son Sharanagouda Patil.
The Audio Tape
On February 8, 2019, then Karnataka chief minister and JDS chief HD Kumaraswamy had released the audiotape of an alleged conversation between state BJP chief BS Yediyurappa and Sharanagouda.
In the phone call, Yediyurappa allegedly attempted to poach JDS MLAs by offering them money and cabinet berths. He allegedly also offered Rs 25 crore to Sharanagouda and a ministerial post for his father.
Yediyurappa was also allegedly heard saying that 12-13 MLAs from the coalition government were ready to help instal a BJP government in Karnataka.
Another BJP MLA Shivanagouda Naik, who organised the meeting between Yeddyurappa and Sharanagouda, is allegedly heard saying that the speaker had been taken into confidence in return for Rs 50 crore for accepting the resignation of the MLAs who had switched sides.
A few days later, Sharanagouda filed a complaint against BS Yediyurappa. An FIR was booked under section 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) against the Karnataka BJP leader.
Later, BS Yediyurappa admitted that the voice in the audio clip is his and that he met Sharanagouda at the inspection bungalow in Devdurg.
Yeddyurappa said, "It is true that Sharanagouda came and I spoke to him."
However, Yediyurappa claimed that the audio clip released by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had been edited according to convenience.
An interim order in February 2019 had stayed the probe into the case.
Now, Justice John Michael Cunha has vacated the stay order in the probe and has also rejected BS Yediyurappa's plea seeking the quashing of FIR.
Operation Kamala 2.0 was the name given by the Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka to the BJP conspiracy to topple the state government in 2019.
The 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) government collapsed in Karnataka in 2019 as MLAs rebelled against the government and resigned. After months-long drama, CM HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote in the state assembly, leading to BJP staking claim to form the government under the leadership of BS Yediyurappa in July 2019. The rebel MLAs were eventually inducted into the BJP.