anjaneya karnataka minister
Karnataka Social Welfare Minister H AnjaneyaYouTube grab

A Karnataka minister on Thursday got mired in a controversy following a 'sting operation' by a Kannada TV channel on his wife allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 7 lakh regarding a tender pertaining to his department.

The channel aired video footage of a man keeping currency notes on a table before Minister for Social Welfare Anjaneya's wife in the minister's house. The bribe was to a pass a tender worth Rs 7 crore in a particular district and the channel said it had used fake currency notes as part of its sting operation.

PTI reported that Anjaneya defended his wife, saying it was a conspiracy to defame his image in public because he belonged to a depressed community.

"There is no need for me to take bribe, and my wife is not of that kind. She is innocent. There is a conspiracy behind this ... I have not come into politics to make easy money, but serve people," he told reporters in Bengaluru. PTI said he did not know who was behidn the conspiracy.

Anjaneya claimed he was being targeted because he was a Dalit. "I belong to the oppressed community and it is common for us to face such situations. I have been rendering social service, which you (media and people) all have been seeing," PTI reported him as saying. .

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he is not aware of the sting operation and would not comment. The BJP-led opposition has demanded the resignation of the CM or Anjaneya.