Shekhar Gupta, in his latest tweet seems to have crossed all boundaries of ethical journalism. He shared an article of The Print on his twitter account, which is an expose on Bengaluru Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao, in which the platform sought to prove how Rao took the help of Congress leaders to get elected to the post. However, in his twitter post, for some strange reason, Shekhar Gupta referred to the development as “Yediyurappa’s first scandal”, who happens to be nowhere related to the episode.
Yediyurappa’s first scandal…
Karnataka IPS tapes: 'Ahmed Patel said I will make him commissioner, Revanna will support'
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) August 9, 2019
The article mentions unverified audio tapes leaked by News18 Kannada, recorded 6 months ago when the Karnataka was under the coalition government of JD(S) and Congress. Yediyurappa led BJP was nowhere in the picture.
In the audio clips, Rao was purportedly speaking to a power broker named Faraz in order to get himself appointed the commissioner through a Congress pull, instead of Alok Kumar, who was being favoured by then-CM H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The article mentions 3 clips, in which Faraz was clearly heard lobbying on behalf of Rao with Ahmed Patel. In the 2nd clip, Faraz was heard saying, “He (Ahmed Patel) is in very good books of his (Kumaraswamy’s) father (H.D.
Deve Gowda)… I told him (Ahmed Patel) agar aap halke se bol denge toh
oblige kar denge...mana nahi karenge aapko.”
In the 3rd clip, Faraz stated, “He (Ahmed Patel) showed me a thumbs-up, maane physically unhone thumbs-up dikhaya and he said… beta, commissioner of police banoonga unko.”
He further reiterated, “thumbs-up dikhaaye aur chaar mahine baad
hundred per cent banaoonga bolne ke liye aur CM ke saath coordinate karne ke
liye bol doonga…”
Faraz was also heard stating, “I explained to him (Ahmed Patel) how Venugopal ji considered you for Bengaluru South and that you are a Congressman at heart… How you wanted to put your papers down and join the party and how I myself suggested to you that this is not the time sir.”
In the 3rd clip, Rao said, “ismein fortunately I have got both Revanna and big man’s (Deve Gowda) support also. Yehi (Kumaraswamy) hai jo hai iske (Alok Kumar) peeche laga hua hai. Aur kuch nahin hai. AP (Ahmed Patel) sahab bol diye toh 100 per cent ho jayega… yeh keh dein ki tumhare bahut log hain, hamara aadmi ko rakho.”
Kumaraswamy wanted Alok Kumar to be in the commissioner, who was the junior-most ADGP-rank officer. However, Rao through Faraz appealed to Ahmed Patel to instead get the post.
As is clearly visible from the tapes, the conversation involved 3 parties, Rao, Faraz and Patel. Moreover, it also mentioned JDS leaders such as Kumaraswamy, Revanna and Deve Gowda. Neither was Yediyurappa mentioned in the slightest, nor was BJP government in power so as to associate him with the scandal.
It shows the level of corruption Congress and JDS leaders were indulging in. However, Shekhar Gupta has chosen to involve Yediyurappa ’s name in the scandal, without any plausible explanation.
Moreover, ever since Gupta shared the tweet, citizens have come out perturbed pointing to his hypocrisy. This included BJP worker Pratap Simha.
Sir @ShekharGupta, in that 6 month old audio clip, he seem to be lobbying with Cong top brass via some1. But u are calling it, BSY’s first scam. Do u have any proof? Sir, y this unsubstantiated insinuation? https://t.co/0y8cnHyQGt
— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) August 9, 2019
In a strange turn of events, Shekhar Gupta has himself liked this tweet, thus, implying that he is well aware of his libelous deed. Still, it didn’t dawn upon him to amend the error and suitably apologize to the Karnataka CM. Dragging innocent leaders’ names through the pile of mud left behind by the previous governments is not a sign of ethical journalism and is merely ruining their repute without valid cause.