The former president of the Janata Dal (Secular) party’s Karnataka unit, AH Vishwanath — one of the 17 disqualified MLAs— claimed that former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy tapped the phones of all rebel MLAs. He also alleged that at least 300 personal phones of leaders, including those of Congress Legislature Party leader S Siddaramiah were tapped by the then CM.
Stating that Kumaraswamy did not trust any one, Vishwanath said that such illegal tapping was a criminal offence.He also pointed out that Ramakrishna Hegde resigned as CM in the late 1980s on similar phone tapping charges.
Kumaraswamy took to Twitter and denied the allegations: “I have always asserted that the CM’s post is not permanent. To retain such a seat, I had no need to opt for phone tapping. The allegations made against me, by some in this regard, is far from truth.” Senior JDS leader and former minister Sa Ra Mahesh denied that the previous government tapped phones.
Senior BJP leader R Ashoka too alleged that phones of several senior leaders of BJP, Congress and even journalists were tapped by the Kumaraswamy government. Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda said: “Those who should be protecting (privacy) seem to have phones tapped through police. This is a big criminal offence. There should be a detailed enquiry …”
However, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao reacted cautiously to the allegation. “Phone tapping is a very sensitive subject. If it has been done illegally, then action should be taken…”