In a development that takes the already intense Karnataka elections into the legal domain, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has reportedly filed a legal defamation suit against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa.
According to reports, Siddaramaiah has accused the three BJP leaders of making “false and defamatory statements against him”.
The Karnataka CM has claimed that the main opposition party in the state have demeaned his stature and public image by falsely accusing him of corruption in various public meetings and advertisements.
In his notice, Siddaramaiah has asked Modi, Shah and Yeddyurappa to apologise for demeaning comments such as “Sidha Rupaiyah” made against him by the PM and the BJP leaders threatening to sue them for Rs 100 crores if they fail to do so.
The notice accuses the PM and other BJP leaders of calling Siddaramaiah’s government a “10 per cent government” and alleging that it “charges 10 per cent for any job done in the state” on multiple occasions during the election campaigning in the state.
According to The News Minute, the seven-page notice also mentions the Hubolt watch which Siddaramaiah received as a gift from a friend and which was used as a tool by the BJP to accuse the CM of corruption.
“My client received the watch from his friend as a gift and paid the required tax for it and on the floor of the Karnataka Assembly declared the source of the watch and handed it to the Hon’bly Speaker to treat the same as an asset of the state. Despite this, with an intention to malign my client’s image, you, the 2nd noticee (Modi), have made such baseless, untrue and false remarks,” TNM quotes from the notice.
The notice also reportedly reads: “You (BJP leaders) have jointly and severally committed libel and offences punishable under Sections 499,500, 501 and 502 of the Indian Penal Code. Therefore, you are called upon to cease and desist from making such statements forthwith and give an unconditional public apology immediately through electronic, print and social media in which statements and advertisements have appeared.”
During the campaigning for the 12 May assembly elections in the state, BJP leaders had often raised corruption as a major issue and assailed the Karnataka CM over it.
According to another report, the legal notice reads asks those named to “cease and desist from making such statements forthwith and give an unconditional public apology immediately through electronic, print and social media etc in which the statements and advertisements have appeared”.