Karnataka opposition leader Siddaramaiah has thrown a challenge that if it is proved that he had met former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa secretly, he will retire from active politics.
“Last time I had met Yediyurappa was on his birthday. I have not met him since then. If former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy proves that I met BSY, I will retire from politics. It is Kumaraswamy who meets BSY regularly,” Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday night. Reacting to Congress leaders calling party President D.K. Shivakumar a collection agent, Siddaramaiah maintained that it is not possible.
“Kumaraswamy is raking up issues unnecessarily. He is falsely linking IT raids conducted on Yediyurappa’s aides to me. He is targeting me as he is feeling threatened. I have seen many people like him in my political career. Kumaraswamy has entered politics much recently. I do not need lessons from him,” he stated.
“Yediyurappa is a former CM – there is BJP government at the Centre and Amit Shah is the home minister – I am the leader of Opposition in Karnataka. Will Narendra Modi listen to me to raid the aides of BSY? I can only laugh at this joke,” Siddaramaiah explained replying to the charges of Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy had said that IT raids are being carried out as Yediyurappa met Siddaramaiah secretly to plan to weaken BJP in the state. He also charged that because Siddaramaiah wanted the post of opposition leader, he made the coalition government of JD(S) and Congress collapse, allowing BJP to attain power. Kumaraswamy had also used the slang word ‘putagosi’ (loincloth, often used to say useless) to describe the post of Opposition Leader.
“Kumaraswamy has insulted the Constitution of India by insulting the position of Leader of Opposition. Is this the respect a former Chief Minister gives to a constitutional position? Even his father H.D. Devegowda had served as Leader of Opposition when Devaraj Urs was Chief Minister,” he said.
He further said, “Out of 17 MLAs who defected to the BJP, 3 were from JD(S). Did I send them too? Also when he addressed during the vote of the no-confidence motion, he blamed Yediyurappa for Operation Kamala and alleged that BJP lured MLAs by offering money and position. Why did he not take my name then? I would have replied in the assembly only,” Siddaramaiah questioned.
“At a time when the coalition government was about to lose majority, Kumaraswamy was sitting in America. What was the need for that? I called him to come back at the earliest but he stayed there for 9 days,” he said.
“Can CM run a government from West End hotel? Can he run the administration without meeting MLAs, Ministers and Officers? This was the reason for the government’s fall. I am tired of repeating the same thing. I will not answer such allegations again,” he said.
“I have never compromised on my ideology or principles for political benefits. It was Kumaraswamy who withdrew support to the Dharam Singh government in 2005 and joined hands with BJP to become CM. Was that done for the power or to practice asceticism?,” he questioned.