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  India   All India  05 Nov 2019  Cong urges SC to take on record BS Yediyurappa’s audio clip

Cong urges SC to take on record BS Yediyurappa’s audio clip

Published : Nov 5, 2019, 1:56 am IST
Updated : Nov 5, 2019, 6:19 am IST

The Yediyurappa government may find itself in a precarious situation if the BJP fails to win at least eight of the 15 seats.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa
 Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa

New Delhi/Bengaluru: The Congress on Monday requested the Supreme Court hearing the MLAs disqualification case to take on record an audio clip in which Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa is purportedly saying, while referring to rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs who jumped ship and were later disqualified, that they were kept in Mumbai during the final days of the coalition government under BJP president Amit Shah’s watch.

The Congress contends that this is proof of the horse trading tactics adopted by the BJP to topple the previous JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka.

The case whether Karnataka Speaker’s decision to disqualify 17 Congress and JD(S) rebel MLAs should be upheld is expected to take a crucial turn after a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said on Monday that it will consult Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on constituting a bench on Tuesday to consider the new material handed in by the Karnataka Congress.

In the audio clip, BJP chief minister Yediyurappa is purportedly heard hitting out at his BJP rivals for not recognising the “sacrifice” of the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs because of whom the BJP was able to come to power in the state.

He purportedly said this at a recent party meeting in Hubballi over their opposition to give tickets to disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs for the December 5 Assembly bypolls in 15 Assembly constituencies. The audio clip had surfaced on Friday last.

“I feel I have made a mistake by forcing the 17 MLAs to resign and becoming chief minister with their help as party leaders are not supporting them. All these legislators also look foolish by trusting us and sacrificing their positions. What was the need for them to resign and help us come to power when we should have been in the Opposition? They stayed away from their constituencies and family members by camping in Mumbai for two-and-a-half to three months on the direction of Amit Shah,” Mr Yediyurappa reportedly says on the tape.

The political future of the disqualified MLAs depends on the court’s decision. Only if their disqualification is set aside and their resignations from the state Assembly are accepted, can they contest the December 5 Assembly bypolls. If the case gets prolonged and the verdict is delayed, it would not just affect their chances, but may also skew the numbers in the Assembly in favour of the Congress and JD(S).

The Yediyurappa government may find itself in a precarious situation if the BJP fails to win at least eight of the 15 seats.

The top court had on October 25 reserved verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs before the trust vote moved by the previous H.D. Kumaraswamy government.

Meanwhile, the war of words between the BJP and the Congress over the disqualified MLAs’ issue continued on Monday with chief minister Yediyurappa asserting that there was no truth in the audio clip submitted to the Supreme Court.

“It was Mr Siddaramaiah (Opposition leader in the Assembly) who hatched a plan to destabilise the previous H.D. Kumaraswamy government by making 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs resign. He and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar then ensured the disqualification of these MLAs to save themselves,” Mr Yediyurappa alleged.

“We have no connection with the resignation of the disqualified MLAs. What they want to do, after this, is left to them,” Mr Yediyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru while trying to distance himself from the charge that the BJP was behind the resignations.

His statement comes amid opposition from local party leaders to giving tickets for the bypolls to these disqualified MLAs. In fact Mr Yediyurappa had appointed several contenders in his party for bypoll tickets as heads of state-run boards and corporations in what seemed to be a placatory move to make sure they did not insist on contesting from these seats.

Tags: supreme court, bs yediyurappa