BENGALURU: Hiding from media cameras, and even his own team, MP Tejasvi Surya on Thursday night visited the South Zone war room to apologise to the staffers whom he had publicly insulted just two days ago. Though he made it clear there should be no audio or video recording of his visit, BBMP staffers did not quite trust him, and carried out a sting operation. They recorded his conversation with the staffers and even took photographs of him talking to them and apologising.
He even offered some bizarre solutions to deal with the mess. While Surya's official Twitter handle @offtejasvisurya said: "With No News, they create fake news", the audio and photographs shared with TNIE present a different story.
Surya was at the war room at 7pm Thursday, and waited in the parking lot before visiting the staffers at 7.30pm, when the crowd was thin. In the audio he is heard saying: "I am really sorry. It was not my intention. My aim was to help for beds, not to leak numbers or put people down. I understand your problem that your numbers have been leaked and you are getting calls. I am not saying all are responsible, but some are and they have been arrested." He also tried to offer solutions like: "Change your numbers. I will give you all new SIM cards. Switch off your mobile phones for 2-3 days and those harassing you will stop. Take calls only from family members and known people and ignore the rest, like I do."
These solutions, however, did not go down well with the staffers who questioned him as to how their numbers got leaked, and how could they change their personal numbers which were linked to bank accounts and other government records. Surya tried to put the blame on the agency and BBMP officials, saying they had made the staffers' numbers public and they had gone viral.
Since the numbers are on various social media platforms, difficult to delete them, he said, and offered to file a police complaint on their behalf. "The issue will die down in 4-5 days time, until then please bear... the best thing is to ignore and switch off your phones... I had to inquire because my voters were questioning me," he said. To make up for the damage, he said,
"As soon as vaccines for those above 18 years come to South Zone, you will be given the first dose and I will take it with you." The staffers later told TNIE: “If the MP thought he can do a sting, well, we can too. We don't believe a word he says. It is because of him that many have not come back and some are going to be removed. The future of youth is now at stake.”