BENGALURU: Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday denied allegations of phone tapping during his tenure, even as the BJP raised the pitch demanding a comprehensive probe into it.
"There was no need for me to intercept phone calls to save my government when I have been saying repeatedly the post of chief minister is not forever. Allegations against me by some people is far from truth," Kumaraswamy tweeted.
As the matter snowballed into a major controversy, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told reporters, "I am observing the developments. I will discuss with the Chief Secretary (T M Vijay Bhaskar) and think about further action." On Wednesday, disqualified JD(S) MLA from Hunsur, A H Vishwanath who had served as the JDS state president and turned rebel later, accused the previous government of tapping phones and spying on more than 300 leaders including him.
"My phone was tapped. I was among the 300 people whose phones were tapped," Vishwanath told PTI.
Vishwanath went on to claim that the matter in fact had come to light six months ago when the Congress MLA H K Patil and BJP MLA R Ashoka had alleged that their phone calls were intercepted.
"It had actually started since then. They (the previous Congress-JDS coalition government) did not spare even some clerks," Vishwanath added, referring to the alleged phone tapping of some politicians, journalists and officials.
Vishwanath had rebelled against the JDS leadership, resigned from the post of state president and then from the Assembly.
He aligned with the disgruntled Congress and JDS MLAs camped in Mumbai, who were later disqualified but were responsible for the fall of the then Kumaraswamy-led government, which was reduced to a minority in the truncated Assembly.
He was among the 17 MLAs whom the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had disqualified from the assembly.
Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday demanded a comprehensive probe into the alleged phone tapping.
"It is a big criminal offence. It should be investigated thoroughly. However big the persons involved in this should face action," he said, adding some "information" was now available.
Padmanabhanagar BJP MLA Ashoka said he had given a statement six months ago that his phone was tapped.
However, the then government trashed his charges, he added.
Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao earlier this month ordered an inquiry into the phone tapping incident against the backdrop of a recently leaked telephone conversation purportedly between him and someone in Delhi lobbying on his behalf with some Congress heavyweights for the post he is occupying now.