Videogate: BSY blames Siddaramaiah for defection

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. (PTI photo)

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is fire fighting a leaked video in which he is heard discussing the BJP’s role in toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition, maintained that the ruling BJP had nothing to do with the 17 disqualified ‘rebel’ MLAs.

He accused Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Monday of “creating confusion.”

Speaking to reporters, Yediyurappa said, “It was Siddaramaiah who caused the 17 MLAs to resignation, because of which the (coalition) government fell. But today, he’s making baseless allegations against the BJP. Is it fair on your part being the leader of the opposition?”

Yediyurappa dared Siddaramaiah to face the bypolls on December 5. “Face the elections if you have the guts. Whether or not the MLAs will contest on a Congress ticket, or on the JD(S) or BJP, or independently, it’s their freedom. I have nothing to do with it. But you are creating confusion in the Supreme Court and among the public,” the CM said. 

“I’m still saying we have nothing to do with the resignation of MLAs,” Yediyurappa said, calling the video clip “false.” 

Last week, a leaked video clip from an internal party meeting had Yediyurappa referring to how Union Home Minister Amit Shah was in on Congress and JD(S) legislators camping in Mumbai, causing the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. He is also heard saying that he felt like having committed a “crime” by “getting the MLAs to trust him.” 

Also read — Leaked BS Yediyurappa video: Full transcript

This came as a blow to the BJP, which claimed it had nothing to do with the defection.

The Congress, ever since the leak, has mounted an attack on the ruling BJP, seeking the dismissal of the Yediyurappa government and Shah’s resignation. On Monday, the party produced the video clip as “evidence” that the BJP engineered the defection. 

“When the MLAs themselves resigned saying they don’t want to continue in the government, and that they be allowed to contest the polls...that’s the question before the Supreme Court,” Yediyurappa said, brushing aside the Congress’ move to flag the video in the top court. 

Also read — Congress seeks to put BSY's audio clip into SC record

Besides attacking Siddaramaiah, Yediyurappa also targeted former Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. “The MLAs said they don’t want to continue as members of the House and requested the Supreme Court for their resignation to be accepted. The same request was made to the Speaker. When the then Speaker said the resignation was not in the proper format, the MLAs once against submitted them in the proper format, based on the court’s direction. But Ramesh Kumar colluded with Siddaramaiah and got the MLAs disqualified. Wasn’t this a conspiracy, which you are trying to hush up by blaming the BJP?” the CM said. 

Asked if the video leak will damage the BJP’s prospects in the December 5 bypolls, Yediyurappa said it was the Congress, and not his party, that will be affected. “It was under the same Siddaramaiah that they could win just one seat in the Lok Sabha polls. How did he even become the leader of the opposition? Let him bring back the rebels if he wants to; we aren’t stopping him. He doesn’t have the capacity to face polls. It’s certain that the Congress will be in the Opposition for the next three years. And until Siddaramaiah is leading the party, it’ll never come to power,” he said. 

Also read — 'Hurt' BSY attacks partymen on disqualified MLAs

The BJP needs to win at least 7-8 seats out of the 15 constituencies that face bypolls on December 5 in order to secure a majority in the Assembly. 

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