Sushma Swaraj defended herself against allegation of being close to the Bellary brothers of Karnataka, alleging that it was Arun Jaitely, Venkiah Naidu, Anant Kumar and Yeddyurappa who may have played any role in their political rise.
Outlook magazine released an audio recording of Sushma’s comments to this effect.
“I have had no hand in giving encouragement to the Bellary brothers. I have not helped them politically, or to increase their clout,” she is heard speaking, in Hindi.
She pointed out that there were too many allegations linking her with the Reddy brothers, while she has had absolutely nothing to do with the two Karnataka ministers.
She said that it was the Congress government in Karnataka that made the brothers rich, while BJP did play a role in making them politically important as well.
“When they were made ministers, it was Yeddyurappa who was the chief minister and Arun Jaitley was the convener.. All that I did was that when it looked like the government was about to fall, I was told to speak to them, to save our first government in the South,” she said.
Reddy brothers are frequently blamed for Karnataka corruption.
“I haven’t contributed even 0% to their political making… I haven’t made even a naya-paisa of it,” Swaraj, BJP’s leader in Lok Sabha said.
The BJP or Swaraj have not commented on the publication of the tape by Outlook.