Bengaluru: Karnataka Excise Minister Hullappa Yamanappa Meti on Wednesday tendered his resignation letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after a CD of him in compromising position surfaced.
"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 said.
CM 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."
Excise Minister Shri HY Meti has resigned. I have recommended to Honble Governor to accept the resignation. I have also ordered a probe.
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) December 14, 2016
Walking out of the Chief Minister`s residence, Meti, however, denied indulging in any obscene activity and alleged that there was a conspiracy to tarnish his image through a fake sleaze tape from a CD.
"I have resigned but I am innocent. An official investigation will prove my innocence," he told the media.
The alleged sex scandal came to fore after an RTI activist from Ballari, Rajashekhar Molali, claimed recently that he was in possession of a video CD in which Meti (71) is purportedly seen in a compromising position with a woman who had approached him for a favour.
According to reports, the video featuring Meti in the compromising position was shot inside a taluk panchayat office.
The RTI activist in his written complaint alleged that a certain person named Subhash, who claimed to be close to the minister had even threatened him to not release the CD.
Though the allegations were denied by the minister, a woman gave an interview to a local regional channel in which she claimed that she was sexually harassed by Meti. She, however, denied that she was not the woman in the CD. But her husband contradicted her claim, saying that she was the woman in the CD.
Siddaramaiah and home minister G Parameshwara had both said earlier that Meti should resign if there was such a video. Molali had sought a meeting with Parameshwara on Monday.
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.
(With agency inputs)