Suspension of Karnataka ex-minister sought; Congress awaits CID report

Bengaluru: The Bagalkot district unit of the Congress has recommended the suspension of veteran lawmaker H.Y. Meti — who resigned as Excise Minister after a sleaze tape surfaced — but the ruling party may wait for a CID probe report before acting, a party source said on Friday.

“The party’s state unit has sent a report to the high command to seek action (suspension) against Meti for damaging the party’s image and bringing a bad name to our government by his obscene act,” the party official told IANS here on condition of anonymity.

“However, as a CID investigation has been ordered after the resignation of Meti, who claimed he is being framed, the party may wait for the probe outcome,” added the official.

Meti, 71, resigned on Wednesday after local news channels aired the tape in which he is allegedly seen in a compromising situation with a woman.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah later ordered an inquiry by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into the episode.

Meti is a four-time legislator from Bagalkot assembly segment in the state’s northern region, about 400 km from Bengaluru. He switched parties over the years with a stint in the then undivided Janata Dal-United.

“The party is waiting for the high command’s nod to act against Meti. We will know about it soon as Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will visit Belagavi on Saturday to address a rally there,” said the official.

Belagavi in the state’s northwest region, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

Though Congress Karnataka unit President and Home Minister G. Parameshwara discussed Meti’s fate with Siddaramaiah, supporters of the former minister want the high command to wait for the CID report before acting against him.

Parameshwara said the CID was waiting for a complaint to be registered by the victim or her family in the jurisdictional police station.