Now, 'proof' of Cong hand in toppling game

Now, 'proof' of Cong hand in toppling game

The party has alleged that a relative of a Union Minister cleared the bills of a hotel where the rebel BJP legislators camped along with JD(S) leaders.

BJP State President K S Eshwarappa released copies of the hotel bills dated October 12 at a press conference here on Saturday. He said V G Siddartha of Amalgamated Bean Coffee, which runs Cafe Coffee Day outlets also stayed with rebels in Sheraton Park Hotels & Towers in Chennai. He cleared the hotel bill amounting to Rs 3,89,596. Eshwarappa, however, did not mention the name of the Union Minister.

According to the copies of the bills, 21 people including Siddhartha, JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy, deputy chairman of the Legislative Council Puttanna, disqualified 11 BJP MLAs and two disqualified (challenged in court) Independent MLAs stayed in the hotel. Kumaraswamy stayed in the room No 2311 and Siddhartha in room No 1621.

Duration not clear

While the duration of the hotel stay is not clear, the bill is dated October 12, 2010, a day after the first floor test in the Legislative Assembly. By that time the rebel MLAs had returned to Chennai after touring Mumbai and Goa. Zameer Khan and Cheluvarayaswamy of JD(S) had accompanied the rebel MLAs from Goa to Chennai. The bill also shows Rs 26,112 as expenditure incurred by Siddartha and Rs 43,787 spent by Kumaraswamy. Signed by an accounts executive, the bill is addressed to the Amalgamated Bean Coffee. The text of the bill says “We now request you to kindly look into this and arrange to send us the payment in settlement of the above bills at the earliest”.

A handwritten footnote in the bill says “The entire amount paid by cash by their representative. Hotel Admin wanted a PAN number. But till October 20 they have not come back”. However, it does not indicate who made the payment.

Ample proof

Eshwarappa, pooh-poohing the statement of Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah denying the Congress’ involvement said the bills were ample proof that Congress had joined hands with the JD(S) to destabilise the government. He demanded KPCC president G Parameshwara should conduct an inquiry. Siddhartha was not available for comments.
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, who was present along with Eshwarappa, demanded that the Anti-Defection Law should be strengthened so as to quell anti-party activities. The law should include a clause to debar the disqualified MLAs from contesting any elections for six years. The political parties also should take a stand on the issue, he suggested.

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