BS Yeddyurappa says his handwriting, signature were forged in alleged bribe records

New Delhi: The BJP’s Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa has rejected the allegation in a news report on Friday in the Caravan magazine claiming that he had paid Rs 1,800 crore as bribe to his party leadership.

While he dubbed the allegations “atrocious and malicious”, the Congress said it could well be the first case to be probed by India’s first anti-corruption Lokpal.

The Caravan claimed to have accessed diary notings of what it said were payments by Yeddyurappa to top BJP leaders and even judges. The diary entries, claims the article, were dated January 2009.

The article claimed that the diary was found by the Income Tax department during raids in 2017 on the home of Congress leader DK Shivakumar.

“It has been proved by Income Tax that it is, without a doubt fake. There has been a forgery of my handwriting and even my signature,” Yeddyurappa said.

The government came out with a clarification as the Congress stepped up its attacks on the BJP and Yeddyurappa.

The Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said the diary was found during a raid on Shivakumar and a “large evidence of incriminating material” was found against him and his company.

The CBDT said some “loose papers were given to the raiding party”.

When confronted, Shivakumar said it was a “copy of diary written by BS Yeddyurappa and the payments paid on behalf of Yeddyurappa to legislators, and received from various leaders, MLAs, Ministers when they were in power.”

Asked how he got them, the Congress leader said he could not disclose the source. He claimed he had not gone to the anti-corruption bureau of Karnataka earlier as he was not sure about the authenticity of the loose sheets.

Yeddyurappa reportedly told tax investigators that he was not in the habit of writing a diary and that the loose sheets in question were not in his handwriting.

He denied his handwriting and signatures on the loose sheets and called the entire affair an attempt to tarnish his image.

The Congress tweeted: “Dear diary, it seems my corruption has been caught, I tried to bribe several BJP leaders & now the country knows. I can only hope my Chowkidar protects me like all the other Chors. Yours truly, @BSYBJP#YeddyurappaDiary (sic).”