You’ll be backstabbed, too, Shivakumar warns BJP

You’ll be backstabbed, too, Shivakumar warns BJP

Minister DK Shivakumar speaking during the confidence motion, moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, in the Assembly, at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Tuesday, Photo/ B H Shivakumar

It was a tale of friendship and betrayal woven with poetry and politics that summed up Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar’s passionate speech delivered on Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s confidence motion on Tuesday. 

“The way I was stabbed in the back, you will be, too,” Shivakumar told the BJP in an hour-long talk, referring to his “dear friends” S T Somashekhar, Munirathna, Byrati Basavaraj and M T B Nagaraj, who tendered resignation and flew to Mumbai despite efforts to convince them. “These are people I’ve been with for 30-40 years. It pains me that I have to mourn their passing as their grave has been dug out already,” he said, accusing the BJP of misleading the MLAs. 

“Just last night, I spoke with one of them. He said they’re being made ministers - one deputy chief minister, irrigation, power and so on. I warned him that this would be their political funeral,” Shivakumar said. “How can they be made ministers? Article 164 is very clear that those disqualified cannot be made ministers. It hurts me that they have been misled.” 

When Shivakumar hosted about 30 MPs from South Indian states in Delhi last month, Munirathna approached him with a deal: “Let’s go (to the BJP) under your leadership.” Shivakumar said he was shocked and brushed him off. “The day he resigned, I tore his resignation letter in the Speaker’s chamber at Vidhana Soudha. It was my duty to help my friends see what they were getting into,” he said.  

“I have warned M T B Nagaraj,” Shivakumar said, “that our next meeting will be in the Hoskote assembly constituency that he represents.” 

In all this, he quoted D V Gundappa’s Mankuthimmanna Kagga and a line from Sarvagna. He also sang the first lines of the RSS prayer ‘Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrubhume...’ while reminiscing about his days as a Swayamsevak. 

Scornfully congratulating Leader of the Opposition B S Yeddyurappa, Shivakumar said: “His perseverance must be hailed. Politics is the art of possibilities. Finally, in the 7th attempt, our MLAs have been trapped.” 

Shivakumar said he could well have locked up the rebel MLAs while they were in Bengaluru. “I didn’t do that because I trusted them.”