Karnataka leaked audio row: CM Bommai defends Madhuswamy, says don't misunderstand him

Bommai said the minister had made the statement three months back while specifically referring to a particular subject in the Cooperative Department.

Published: 16th August 2022 05:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2022 05:17 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. (Photo | Express)

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday defended Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy, whose comments landed the BJP government in Karnataka in a major

Madhuswamy came under fire from his cabinet colleagues, who asked him to resign after he had expressed displeasure over the government's functioning. While speaking to a person over the phone the minister stated that they were somehow managing. The audio leak put the government in a tight spot.

Chief Minister Bommai, however, said the minister had made the comment in a different context and there is no need for any misunderstanding. Bommai said the minister had made the statement three months back while specifically referring to a particular subject in the Cooperative Department. “I have spoken to the minister and there is no need for any misunderstanding. Everything is fine in the government and there is no problem,” the CM said while responding to a question.

Cooperatives Minister ST Somashekar and Horticulture Minister Munirathna had expressed displeasure over Madhuswamy’s remarks. On Monday, Munirathna said being a responsible minister Madhuswamy should not have commented like that and he should resign.

Opposition Congress took to social media platform to slam the government and said comments by the BJP leaders and ministers exposed the differences within the government as well as the ruling party.

ALSO READ | In leaked audio, Karnataka Minister says 'government is not functioning', Bommai goes into damage control mode

When told that several of his cabinet colleagues are upset and are criticising Madhuswamy, he said, "I will talk to all of them."

A purported phone conversation between Madhuswamy and Bhaskar, a Channapatna-based social worker, had gone viral on Saturday. "We are not running a government here, we are just managing, pulling through for the next 7-8 months," Madhuswamy can be heard telling Bhaskar in response to his complaints against a cooperative bank, with respect to some farmers' issues.

In the purported phone conversation, while responding to the social worker's complaint, the Minister can be heard even expressing "helplessness" over Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar's "inaction".

"I know these issues. I've brought this to the notice of Somashekhar. He is not taking action. What to do?" Madhuswamy can be heard saying.

Somashekar has hit out at Madhuswamy over his comments, saying, "He (Madhuswamy) feels that he is the only intelligent person, he has to remove it from his head first."

Minister Munirathna has said, Madhuswamy should resign from the Ministry immediately, before making such a statement.

"He is part of the government and is participating in every matter at the cabinet, so he also has a share in it. Being in a responsible position and making such statements is not right, it is not befitting to his seniority," he said.


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