A day after his name formally surfaced in the sleaze CD episode, Karnataka Congress President D. K. Shivakumar on Saturday claimed that he has never met the woman in the purported CD but also asserted that there was nothing wrong in meeting 'people in distress'
In the CD, former Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarakiholi is seen in a compromising position with a woman, who has been accusing Jarakiholi of sexually exploiting her in lieu of getting her a government job.
Ever since the CD was released on March 2, Jarakiholi has been hinting at Shivakumar's role stating that a 'Maha Nayaka' (big leader) was behind releasing the fake CD to malign his family's reputation.
Twist in sleaze CD case
This row has taken a new twist with the surfacing of a seven-minute audio clip in her conversations with her family members, in which she takes D. K. Shivakumar's name twice.
The audio clip had surfaced, soon after the woman filed a complaint with the police on Friday evening.
Reacting to his name surfacing in the audio clip, KPCC president, D. K. Shivakumar said, "We are in public life, you (media) work as a bridge between people. We politicians too try to help people who are in distress. That woman has said that she has tried to meet me but I could not meet her."
"Every day people in distress come to meet politicians with their personal problems. Like that she too may have come on that day, but that meeting never took place. Even if she comes today, I will verify things. There is nothing wrong in meeting people in distress. They come to us, when they feel their justice has been denied by the other party. There is nothing new about it," he said.
Asserting that he was tracking Jarakiholi when he was defecting with some Congress leaders in 2019, when the Congress-JD(S) coalition fell and paved the way for the BJP to form a government under incumbent Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa's leadership.
Shivakumar claimed that he was not interested in someone's personal matter and it is his (Jarkiholi) personal matter.
"Though, I did come to know about these things from those in the media about what all was happening, but I am not interested in it," he stated.
Answering to a question, whether he knew Naresh, whose name cropped up in the fourth video clip released by the woman, Shivakumar conceded he knew Naresh rather well. "He is from the media, on some occasions, I have been to his house also. He has met me on several occasions and informed me about several things," the KPCC president said.
Jarakiholi vs Shivakumar
It is an open secret that Jarakholi has a running feud with Shivakumar for the last four years, which is also one of the prime reasons for Jarakiholi to rebel against the Congress party in 2019 and pull down the coalition government headed by H. D. Kumaraswamy. His demand to join BJP had two conditions: he should be given the water resource portfolio and allocated the same office in Vidhan Soudha, which were duly fulfilled by ruling BJP Government in Karnataka.
Both were once good friends but Jarakiholi fell out with Shivakumar over an election of PLD bank, in which the latter had supported Belagavi Rural MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar, which did not go well with the Jarakiholi family. Ever since, both had sworn to finish each other politically.
The woman's conversation in the purported seven-minute audio clip is said to have taken place on the night (March 2) when the CD was leaked to news channels.
Shivakumar's name crops up twice as she tries to repeatedly convince family members that she was safe and the video and audio clips aired on television were fake, morphed and her voice was modulated.
In her fourth video clip released on Saturday, the woman also authenticates the conversation in the audio clip and said she had gone to meet Shivakumar, but could not.
Commenting on the development, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai quipped that the series of audio and videos are coming like a television serial. "The SIT will investigate the CD, audio and video in detail and examine it scientifically also. As I have already said, the SIT will not buckle under any pressure or influence or attempts to mislead. It is working systematically as per law without favouring any one to find out the truth and will continue to do so," he said in his short statement released to the media.
(With inputs from IANS)