The CBI has taken up investigation into alleged phone tapping of politicians during the previous Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka, officials said on Saturday. The agency has filed an FIR on a request from the Karnataka government headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, they said.
Yediyurappa had announced a CBI probe amid signs that the scandal was gaining political steam ever since disqualified JD(S) MLA A H Vishwanath, who served as JD(S) state president and turned rebel, accused the H D Kumaraswamy government of tapping phones and spying on more than 300 people, including him.
Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, M Mallikarjuna Kharge and home minister in the alliance government M B Patil, had sought a probe while another key party leader and former minister D K Shivakumar has rejected the snooping charges and appeared to side with Kumaraswamy.
According to reports, phones of those close to Siddaramaiah, who was the then coalition coordination committee chief, too had come under the watch.
Several BJP leaders, including former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, have directly accused Kumaraswamy of being behind the episode to save his government which was then rocked by dissidence within.