May 19 was a day of hectic political activity in Karnataka as the Supreme Court the previous day had ruled that the floor test to prove the majority had to be executed by the BJP by convening the assembly 4 PM. The Congress-JD (S) combine which seemed to have no confidence in its own legislators had herded them off to a hotel in Hyderabad. Along with accusing BJP of trying to wean away its legislators, the Congress dirty tricks were in a overdrive and released one after another audio tape to the media. The tapes had the audio of the conversation of BJP leaders with Congress MLAs where the former were heard luring the latter to jump over to their party ahead of the trust vote.
One of the Congress MLA’s to have featured in the released tapes was Shivaram Hebbar who had won from Yellapur in Uttar Kannada. The audio tape was released by Congress MLC V S Ugrappa on 19th and had claimed that the BJP leaders were heard offering a bribe of Rs 15 crore to Hebbar’s wife in lieu of his support during the trust vote.
However, in his Facebook post, the MLA denied that his wife had any such conversation with anyone and also wrote that the voice of the women in the tape was certainly not that of his wife. He also categorically wrote that the tapes were fake and fabricated. In the same post, he also condemned those who lied and released such clippings for political reasons.
The BJP had vehemently denied that charges and said that the audio tapes were fake and that they were created using mimicry artists. While Shivaram Hebbar earlier denied to comment on his Facebook post, he later told a TV channel that the post was not his! He seemed to tow the party line as Congress MP BK Hariprasad had claimed the same few hours earlier. The Facebook account of Shivaram Hebbar (@shivaramhebbar.inc) operational for many months now seems to be genuine and has posts and clippings that were never denied by Congress or the man himself earlier. The account had his campaign clippings, speeches, posters, posts on his rallies, etc which have been shared by many Congress supporters. The denial comes in the face of the huge embarrassment the party is facing over the audio tapes.