Karnataka: Tape shocker on Supreme Court & Amit Shah, voice suspected to be Yediyurappa's
The Congress plans to approach the Supreme Court with a video that purportedly shows Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa predicting a verdict favourable to the Congress and Janata Dal Secular MLAs whose defection had brought the BJP to power in July but earned them disqualifications.
The video, which purportedly shows Yediyurappa talking to BJP workers in Hubli, doesn’t show his face but the speaker’s voice resembles his.
“I alone was not involved in the operation to lure away the Congress MLAs, who were kept in a Mumbai hotel — the national president of the party was managing things,” the voice says.
It adds: “The Supreme Court judgment is coming; the disqualified MLAs will be allowed to contest.”
The BJP did not deny the voice was Yediyurappa’s. Party spokesperson Go Madhusudan told PTI: “Nobody knows in what context the chief minister had said. He has been quoted out of context.” Such statements do not hold good in any court of law as evidence, he added.
Karnataka Congress leaders have already petitioned the governor seeking the chief minister’s resignation, arguing the video shows him admitting his involvement in the “poaching” of the MLAs.
They have also demanded the resignation of Union home minister and BJP president Amit Shah, whom Yediyurappa purportedly implicates in the alleged poaching.
Now the central Congress leadership is preparing to approach the President and the Supreme Court with the allegation that Yediyurappa has insinuated the apex court has been “managed” and that its judgment would be favourable. It has also sought a “clarification” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah.
After the 17 rebel MLAs — 14 from the Congress and 3 from the JDS — resigned in June-July, the then Assembly Speaker had disqualified them all, banning them from contesting any election till the expiry of the existing Assembly’s term. This meant they could not contest the bypolls necessitated by their disqualification.
The disqualified MLAs challenged this in the apex court, whose verdict is expected next week, possibly on Monday. The BJP wants to field the rebels in the by-elections scheduled on December 5.
All through the rebellion drama, the BJP had insisted it had nothing to do with it.
Yediyurappa’s purported comments came during an attack on BJP leaders who oppose the by-election tickets being given to the defectors from the Congress-JDS. The voice in the video accuses these disgruntled leaders of failing to recognise the “sacrifice” made by the 17 to help the party come to power.
Speaking to NDTV on Saturday, Yediyurappa said: “I have discussed in detail in Hubli about one particular constituency…. On (November) 3rd, 4th, 5th — after Supreme Court decision — other things will be decided.”
At a news conference in Bangalore, former Congress chief minister P.C. Siddaramaiah said: “It is now an admitted fact. No more evidence is required. The chief minister is claiming he was involved. The national president, Amit Shah, who is also the (Union) home minister, was involved.
“They have no right to continue in office. The chief minister should resign. The home minister, who is the de facto Prime Minister, should resign.”
In Delhi, the Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal, said: “It is a serious issue. He is predicting the Supreme Court verdict. He is saying the rebel MLAs will get relief. The Supreme Court should take it seriously.”