Bengaluru: The ruling BJP in Karnataka was left red-faced Thursday after a party MP and state minister were purportedly heard bad-mouthing another minister, in a video clip that has gone viral on social media.
Lok Sabha MP G.S. Basavaraj and Karnataka’s Urban Development Minister Byrati Basavaraj were allegedly caught on camera making disparaging remarks against Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy. The conversation allegedly took place at the inauguration of a new administrative office for the Tumakuru Municipal Corporation, Thursday.
The incident comes barely months after two Congress leaders were caught on camera purportedly dissing KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, minutes before addressing a press conference.
In the video clip that went viral Thursday, G.S. Basavaraj — a senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from Tumakuru — is purportedly heard referring to Madhuswamy as a “North Korean dictator”, while complaining against the latter to Byrati Basavaraj, right before the two were set to address a press conference. The MP appeared to be continuing his tirade despite Byrati’s appeal to “discuss it later”.
“He has destroyed our district. We won’t win a single seat next time. He threatens people with violence. He is abusive to officers. He has announced projects worth Rs 1,000 crore but none of us were invited. He never calls us,” G.S. Basavaraj is purportedly heard whispering to minister Byrati in the video, seemingly referring to Madhuswamy.
Despite Byrati’s insistence that he stop, the MP continued to complain till the moment the former began the press conference.
Asked about the incident later, G.S. Basavaraj told mediapersons that he was not referring to Madhuswamy: “I did not speak of J.C. Madhuswamy. I only requested the minister to pull up officials who are slacking. I never spoke about any politician.”
Law minister was present at same event
Incidentally, Madhuswamy too had attended the event and left the venue moments before the press conference began. His hurried exit is said to have irked the other leaders.
“The event started very late. I had very clearly conveyed that I want to leave by 9:30 am since a cabinet meeting had been scheduled for 12 pm in Bengaluru. As law minister, I wanted to arrive earlier for the cabinet but they kept delaying the event. I don’t know what happened after I left the venue but I don’t want to comment on frivolous statements,” Madhuswamy told reporters in Bengaluru when asked about the comments made by his fellow party members.
“Let the party remove me then,” he told reporters when asked about G.S. Basavaraj’s alleged remark that his (Madhuswamy) behaviour would cost the party electorally.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)