Bengaluru/Karwar: Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s personal assistant allegedly attempting suicide on Saturday turned into a political slugfest between ruling BJP leaders and the Congress.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D. K. Shivakumar demanded high-level probe into the suicide attempt by N. R. Santosh Kumar, who is a relative as well as Yediyurappa’s PA.
Speaking to reporters in Karwar, Shivakumar alleged that he knew that Santosh was under tremendous pressure as a few BJP leaders were harassing him. “They are having a CD containing Santosh in a compromising state and this CD was used to harass him,” he alleged. However, he refused to divulge any details.
Although, ruling BJP senior ministers Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister K. S. Eshwarappa dared Shivakumar to come out in the open with names of which minister or which BJP leaders are involved in this case. “If he has any proof let him release the video and names too. If not, he should accept that he has misled the people of this state,” he said.
Revenue minister, R. Ashoka charged that Shivakumar was making false charges only to gain political mileage. “These days he is making more and more such ‘imaginary’ statements only to stay relevant in state politics,” he quipped.
However, it is pertinent to note that Karnataka Congress chief had made these allegations soon after local Kannada News channels aired Santosh’s wife Jhanavi obliquely claimed that her husband was severely upset with “ongoing political developments” in the state.
She too did not elaborate which political development had led to her husband taking such an extreme step.
However, it was strongly speculated by a section of local media that Santosh had fallen out with the inner circle of Yediyurappa as a result of this he was about to lose his prestigious post – CM’s Political Secretary shortly.
However, this theory was rubbished by none other than BJP state Vice President and Yediyurappa’s son B. Y. Vijayendra stated that they were shocked over the incident.
“I do not wish to respond to any speculations. As of now he is recovering which is good news. I have seen in the media that his resignation was sought, there is no need for such discussions. It is the prerogative of the Chief Minister who decides on who should be given what position and fix responsibilities,” he said angrily in response to a question.
This speculation has been doing the rounds since the last fortnight after Yediyurappa showed the door to a senior journalist – M. B. Maramkal who was appointed political advisor last year. In a quick succession Yediyurappa’s Media Advisor, Mahadev Prakash too put down his papers last week, thus it was speculated that Santosh too might face a similar fate.
It is alleged that Maramkal and Santosh had played pivotal roles in negotiating terms and identifying 17-rebels in Congress and JD(S) coalition government last year and thus paved the way for Yediyurappa to form the BJP government in the state.
Sources said Santosh was also eyeing an entry into politics and was working quietly in Arasikere constituency of Hassan district to make his debut in the next Assembly elections.
Santosh had even held a series of Press Conferences in Arasikere and levelled charges against seasoned JD(S) legislator Shivalinge Gowda. Even Gowda had confessed that Santosh was trying to cultivate his own base in his constituency whenever he met mediapersons in Bengaluru.