Cong Targets Yeddy Over ₹1800-cr payoffs

Citing a news magazine report, the Congress on Friday alleged that some top leaders of the BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had received ₹ 1800 crore from former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who rubbished the charges as “atrocious and malicious” and threatened to file a defamation case.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that there was a diary which had mention about the payments allegedly made to the BJP’s Central Committee which, besides the Prime Minister, includes Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The diary also purportedly contains Yeddyurappa’s handwriting and signatures, Surjewala alleged.

Soon after the press conference, Yeddyurappa told reporters that an inquiry had found the documents, cited by Surjewala, as “fake”.

“I.T. (Income Tax) department officials have already probed the issue and found that the documents and signature and handwritten notes are forged,” the former Karnataka Chief Minister said.

“The Congress leaders are apt in carrying out all these atrocious and malicious campaigns. They planted the story in the media to gain political mileage in the coming elections,” the BJP leader said.

He added that he is discussing with senior advocates to file a defamation case against the “concerned persons”.

Surjewala, basing his allegations and contentions on the media report, claimed that the diary is reportedly with the Income Tax department since August 2017 but no probe has been conducted so far.

“The diary is with the Income Tax department since August 2017. The officials of the department have even approached the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with it, seeking an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and for the forensic examination but nothing happened,” said Surjewala.

“If it is true, then why PM Modi and all top leaders of BJP have not ordered an inquiry and get it investigated,” he said.

He added that since the Lokpal was now in place, it can be the first test case of the anti-corruption ombudsman. (ANI)

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