Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa took to social media to proclaim that he will not rest until he puts BJP into the seat of power in Karnataka in the next assembly elections.
Echoing similar view, Karnataka opposition leader Siddaramaiah has also thrown a challenge that if it is proved that he had met Yediyurappa secretly, he will retire from active politics.
"Last time I had met Yediyurappa was on his birthday. I have not met him since then. If former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy proves that I met BSY, I will retire from politics. It is Kumaraswamy who meets BSY regularly," Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday night. Reacting to Congress leaders calling party President D.K. Shivakumar a collection agent, Siddaramaiah maintained that it is not possible.
'Kumaraswamy raking it up'
"Kumaraswamy is raking up issues unnecessarily. He is falsely linking IT raids conducted on Yediyurappa's aides to me. He is targeting me as he is feeling threatened. I have seen many people like him in my political career. Kumaraswamy has entered politics much recently. I do not need lessons from him," he stated.
"Yediyurappa is a former CM - there is BJP government at the Centre and Amit Shah is the home minister - I am the leader of Opposition in Karnataka. Will Narendra Modi listen to me to raid the aides of BSY? I can only laugh at this joke," Siddaramaiah explained replying to the charges of Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy had said that IT raids are being carried out as Yediyurappa met Siddaramaiah secretly to plan to weaken BJP in the state. He also charged that because Siddaramaiah wanted the post of opposition leader, he made the coalition government of JD(S) and Congress collapse, allowing BJP to attain power. Kumaraswamy had also used the slang word 'putagosi' (loincloth, often used to say useless) to describe the post of Opposition Leader.
"Kumaraswamy has insulted the Constitution of India by insulting the position of Leader of Opposition. Is this the respect a former Chief Minister gives to a constitutional position? Even his father H.D. Devegowda had served as Leader of Opposition when Devaraj Urs was Chief Minister," he said.
He further said, "Out of 17 MLAs who defected to the BJP, 3 were from JD(S). Did I send them too? Also when he addressed during the vote of the no-confidence motion, he blamed Yediyurappa for Operation Kamala and alleged that BJP lured MLAs by offering money and position. Why did he not take my name then? I would have replied in the assembly only," Siddaramaiah questioned.
"At a time when the coalition government was about to lose majority, Kumaraswamy was sitting in America. What was the need for that? I called him to come back at the earliest but he stayed there for 9 days," he said.
"Can CM run a government from West End hotel? Can he run the administration without meeting MLAs, Ministers and Officers? This was the reason for the government's fall. I am tired of repeating the same thing. I will not answer such allegations again," he said.
"I have never compromised on my ideology or principles for political benefits. It was Kumaraswamy who withdrew support to the Dharam Singh government in 2005 and joined hands with BJP to become CM. Was that done for the power or to practice asceticism?," he questioned.
"We are working with an objective to bring BJP into power in the upcoming assembly elections. I never met Opposition leader Siddaramaiah individually. There is no need for that. I have only met him on Feb 27, 2020, on the occasion of my birthday," he explained.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had issued a controversial statement saying that BJP is targeting Yediyurappa's aides and close circle through IT raids as he has met Siddaramaiah in Mysuru to discuss the weakening of the ruling BJP in Karnataka.
Yediyurappa had earlier said that the 'Modi wave' alone could not win elections in Karnataka. One of his confidantes Suresh Gowda has resigned as the President of the Tumakuru district BJP unit. Though the BJP appointed two of his supporters as the political secretaries of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and accorded them cabinet status, Yediyurappa was not happy. He has planned to take a state tour which has been scuttled by the party leaders.
Bommai has asserted for the first time after taking over as the Chief Minister that the next assembly elections would be fought under his leadership as per the directions of the party. It has been crucial for the party to keep Yediyurappa in their fold at the same time not allow him to hijack the party. Sources say that all objectives have been fulfilled.
During the search and seizure, an undisclosed income of about Rs 750 crore was found. Out of this, an aggregate amount of Rs 487 crore has been admitted by the respective group entities as their undisclosed income. The searches commenced on Oct 7 have been carried out at 47 premises spread across 4 states.
During the search, unaccounted cash of Rs 4.69 crore; unaccounted jewellery and bullion valued at Rs 8.67 crore; and silver articles valued at Rs 29.83 lakh have been seized.
Sources explained that there are all chances of money trail reaching Yediyurappa as the raids were allegedly focussed on Irrigation, highways department during his tenure involving implementation of various projects of more than Rs 20,000 crore.