Apply Harish Rawat case yardstick to Karnataka: Gowda

Pointing out that CBI has filed an FIR against Harish Rawat for alleged attempts of horse-trading in 2016, which was caught on tape by a news channel editor, he said "the current central government did it (the case against Rawat). The same yardstick has to be followed here...let's wait and see what they will do." Photo/PTI

Citing the CBI booking former Uttarakhand Chief Minister M Harish Rawat in a horse-trading case as an example, JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Sunday said the same yardstick has to be applied in Karnataka too, following Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's 'confession' that BJP had orchestrated the defection of rebel MLAs.

"The Chief Minister himself has said it. It would have come to the notice of the Prime Minister and the President. We will have to see what decisions are taken," Gowda said. Speaking to reporters in Hassan, he said the government came to power through several instances of "wrong conduct".

Pointing out that the CBI has filed an FIR against Harish Rawat for alleged attempts of horse-trading in 2016, which was caught on tape by a news channel editor, he said "the current central government did it (the case against Rawat). The same yardstick has to be followed here...let's wait and see what they will do."

A purported audio clipping of Yediyurappa expressing anguish against BJP leaders at a recent party meeting in Hubballi over their opposition to giving tickets to disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs for the December 5 assembly bypolls in 15 assembly constituencies had surfaced on Friday.

In the audio, Yediyurappa can be heard saying that the rebel Congress JD(S) MLAs, who were later disqualified, were kept in Mumbai during the final days of the coalition government under the watch of BJP President Amit Shah. He had hit out at party leaders for lack of support in "saving" the BJP government and not recognizing rebels' "sacrifice", behind party coming to power.

The resignation and absence of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs from the trust vote had led to the fall of the coalition government, and made way for BJP to come to power. Meanwhile, Gowda, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warned that a countrywide agitation would be launched, opposing import of milk products under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which India is about to sign.

He requested that the dairy sector be excluded from the ambit of RCEP, in the larger interest of farmers, considering the 'huge and far-reaching' implications it would have on the sector. "If the union government does not realize that allowing the import of milk products is a suicidal step, putting the livelihood of dairy farmers at peril, I have no other alternative except to launch a countrywide agitation opposing import of milk products as well as boycotting them," he added.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - a mega free trade agreement - was being negotiated among 10 ASEAN countries with their six FTA partners (India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand), and the proposed deal is expected to be finalized and signed in a day or two. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Bangkok for the RCEP meet has said the pact should be mutually beneficial for all parties. 

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