Karnataka Excise Minister resigns over sleaze tape

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Bengaluru, Dec 14 (IANS) In an embarrassment to the ruling Congress, Karnataka’s 70-year-old Excise Minister H.Y. Meti resigned here on Wednesday after a sleaze tape showing him having sex with a woman surfaced and news channels began airing it, said an official.

“Meti called on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his official residence here and submitted his resignation letter. It will be sent to the Governor soon for acceptance,” an official from the Chief Minister’s Office told IANS.

Siddaramaiah later in a tweet said that he had recommended to the Governor (Vajubhai Vala) to accept the minister’s resignation at the earliest. “I have also ordered a probe into the incident.”

Walking out of the Chief Minister’s residence, a defiant Meti however denied indulging in any obscene activity.

He alleged that there was a conspiracy to tarnish his image through a fake sleaze tape from a CD (compact disc).

“I have resigned but I am innocent. An official investigation will prove my innocence,” Meti told the media here.

Meti is seen in a compromising position with a young woman in the tape, of which around four minutes of footage has been aired so far.

“As the location, when the CD was shot and by whom is not known, the inquiry will bring out the facts,” the official said.

Meti is a lawmaker of the ruling party from Bagalkot district, about 410 km from here, and belongs to the Kurba (shephard) community. Siddaramaiah also belongs to the same community.

According to party sources, T. Rajashekar, a Right to Information activist from Ballari district, about 330 km from here, claimed having evidence of Meti seeking sexual favours from a woman who approached him for a government job.

–IANS

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