Bengaluru: In a big embarrassment for the Siddaramaiah led government, a sting operation by a TV channel surfaced on Thursday showing State social welfare minister H. Anjaneya’s wife purportedly accepting bribe of Rs 7 lakh.
The visuals telecast by a channel showed a man keeping currency notes on a table before minister’s wife at his residence. The television channel claimed that the money received by the minister’s wife was a bribe for passing a tender worth Rs. 7 crore in a particular district and that it had used fake currency notes as part of its sting operation.
Minister unfazed by the controversy defended his wife and said, “There is no need for me to take bribe, and my wife is not that kind. She is innocent. There is a conspiracy behind this. I have not come into politics to make easy money, but serve the people,” he told reporters.
“I belong to the oppressed community and it is common for us to face such situations. I have been rendering social service, which you (media and people) all have been seeing,” the minister added.
Reacting to the controversy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was not aware of the sting operation but would look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the Opposition, especially the BJP, demanded the resignation of Siddaramaiah and Anjaneya.
“Siddaramaiah, who has been claiming that his government is clean, stands exposed in the sting operation. The Chief Minister must immediately resign from the post,” said Jagadish Shettar, senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister.
Former Deputy Chief Minister and veteran BJP leader KS Eshwarappa said, “I would not like to talk much about whether the minister’s wife was involved in accepting bribe or not, but I would suggest the Minister to resign and the Chief Minister initiate an inquiry into the issue,” he added.