In an embarrassing situation for the BJP administration in Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was allegedly heard saying in a leaked audio that Amit Shah “supervised and made all arrangements” for the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
“You do know, don’t you, that it wasn’t Yediyurappa who made them take this decision. The national president was aware of this and supervised this and made all arrangements. You do know this? You do know, don’t you, about the decision of 17 people – they were away in Mumbai for two-three months and were not able to go to their constituencies or see their families. You do know that, don’t you?” the Chief Minister was heard as saying, according to a report in NDTV.
15 rebel legislators, including 12 from the Congress and 3 JD(S) resigned from the house, and two Independents withdrew support leading to the fall of the 14-month coalition government in Karnataka.
In the audiotape, Yediyurappa was heard asking his party workers to behave better with the 17 rebel MLAs of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S).
It is learnt that his party members are not willing to support the rebel MLAs in the upcoming bypolls.
“Unusually, they helped us, who should have been on the opposition for the rest of the term. They helped us become the ruling party. They gave their resignation as MLAs, went to the Supreme Court. Knowing all this – we should stand by them, come what may,” he said.
“But none of you has said this. I did not expect this from you. I am sorry. I didn’t need to become CM (Chief Minister). I have been CM three or four times. I have seen this. I now feel I have committed a crime by becoming CM after making them have faith in me,” Yediyurappa was heard saying.
The audio clip has invited criticism from JD(S) and Congress leaders, who are saying their claim that the BJP was involved in the collapse of the coalition government in Karnataka was proven right.
Commenting on the development, JD(S) leader and Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said that it has now been exposed as to how the BJP misused power and money.
Congress leader KC Venugopal said that it is now out in the open that the BJP is misusing government agencies to poach MLAs. He further said that the party will now approach the Supreme Court with the evidence.
“I think you all are aware of the latest video of BS Yediyurappa related to poaching of Congress and JD(S) MLAs. We have always said that BJP is misusing government agencies to poach MLAs, now it’s established beyond doubt. We will approach the Supreme Court with the evidence,” Venugopal said.
Congress leader Siddaramaiah accused Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and BJP chief Amit Shah of “murdering democracy and violating the Constitution”.
“What he (Yediyurappa) and Amit Shah did was a conspiracy to murder democracy and a violation of the Constitution. Both the Chief Minister and Home Minister have no right to hold a constitutional post,” Siddaramaiah lashed out.
The timing of the video is crucial as bypolls are slated to take place on December 5.