22/03/2019 4:37 PM IST

Did Yeddyurappa Pay Off BJP Leaders? Congress Demands Probe

Yeddyurappa said the issues raised by Congress were "irrelevant and false".

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The Congress on Friday sought an investigation by the Lokpal into a media report that alleged bribes of Rs 1,800 crore were paid by former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to the BJP’s top leaders.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressing a press conference, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify whether bribes to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore were taken by BJP leaders.

Surjewala said the report by The Caravan magazine cited a diary containing details of the alleged pay-offs to senior BJP leaders and it was seized by the Income Tax Department during raids.

“Prima facie, this is a case of investigating all BJP leaders, right from the PM and downwards. It is a fit case to be investigated by the newly appointed Lokpal,” he said.

The Congress spokesperson also read out a purported conversation between Yeddyurappa and a BJP leader alluding to the bribery.

“The diary with BS Yeddyurappa’s signature on it was with the Income Tax Department since 2017. If that is the case why did Modi and the BJP not get it investigated,” Surjewala asked.

“Has the Modi government refused permission to order a probe into the pay-offs? Is the diary not proof of corruption by the BJP leadership,” he asked.

ANI reported thatYeddyurappa dismissed the allegations. He said that the issues raised by Congress leaders were “irrelevant and false”. He also accused the Congress of “planting” the story in the media. 

The BJP leader later tweeted out a statement:

The Caravan, in a report titled The Yeddy Diaries, said that the documents accessed by it reveal that the IT department is in possession of copies of diary entries in the handwriting of Yeddyurappa, that note payoffs amounting to over Rs 1,800 crore to the BJP’s national leaders, its central committee, and judges and advocates. 

(With PTI inputs)