BJP to pay for CM's showdown advt

BJP to pay for CM's showdown advt

Eshwarappa, Shobha visit Dharmasthala to prepare for the face-off

Wilting under criticism of misusing government money for issuing an advertisement challenging H D Kumaraswamy for a “duel of truth” at Dharmasthala, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday asked the State unit of BJP to reimburse to the government the cost of the advertisement.

A day after the chief minister threw down the gauntlet of a “swearing ceremony” at Dharmasthala that was accepted by Kumaraswamy, Congress leaders slammed both for bringing State politics to “such a low.”

The two men are to meet in the Shrine on June 27 to swear the truth over Kumaraswamy’s allegation that Yeddyurappa approached him through an intermediary for a truce.

State party chief K S Eshwarappa and Power Minister and Shobha Karandlaje visited Dharmasthala on Sunday and were closeted with the Dharmadhikari of the shrine, Veerendra Heggade.  Both denied that they had discussed the looming showdown with the Dharmadhikari.

Defending the issuing of the advertisement by Yeddyurappa, B G Puttaswamy, the chief minister’s political secretary, said “to the best of my knowledge”, the State governments in the past had issued clarifications whenever allegations were made or charge were levelled against the chief minister or the government.

“This was the established practice since the days of late Ramakrishna Hegde,” he said.
Sources in the government said the BJP may have to foot a bigger bill for the advertisement, than what print media charges for official ads.

The brewing confrontation between the chief minister and Kumaraswamy has faced withering criticism from Congress leader who said politics in the State should not have reached “such a low”.

Issues should be settled within the framework of law, they said. But, State party chief Eshwarappa argued that Yeddyurappa had been “driven to such a stage”. The JD(S) has been making false allegations and dragged many non issues to court and Lokayukta. As a last resort, the chief minister had asked Kumaraswamy to appear at the shrine to prove his charge, he said.

Kumaraswamy, in the light of his father, HD Deve Gowda expressing his disapproval of the duel, said he would not take his family members to Dharmasthala “as they have nothing to do with the issue”.

Asked should he be accepting such challenge despite his father expressing reservations, Kumaraswamy said: “I’m not going to backout. My father has only said why the family members should be dragged into the matter. Even I know that we should not go to temples taking such matters. But the challenge has been thrown at me. Before I go to the temple, I will expose all the scams of Yeddyurappa and his government.”

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