Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar on Sunday said he has filed a Rs 204 crore defamation suit against BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal for levelling certain “false and baseless” allegations against him over a month ago.
In a statement, Shivakumar said Yatnal had told reporters at Vijayapura on June 23 that he (the Congress leader) has been exerting pressure on BJP leaders and union ministers to ensure that the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate do not pursue cases against him.
The Congress leader alleged Yatnal had also stated if the cases were dropped, he (Shivakumar) promised to remain neutral over the formation of BJP government in Karnataka.
“These are the baseless, false, irresponsible and irrelevant statements made by Mr Yatnal,” Shivakumar said. Alleging that the remarks were made with malafide intention to malign and tarnish his public image, Shivakumar said it has put a huge question mark on his loyalty, sincerity, integrity and image at party and public level.
The false and baseless statements mislead the investigating agencies as well as their probe, he added. “With these baseless statements, I am branded as a person instrumental in destabilising and dethroning the coalition government.
This has caused a major damage to my reputation, image and my loyalty towards the party,” he said. The suit was filed on July 30 in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class in Ramanagar district, which has posted the matter to September 18 for hearing.
The Congress leader prayed the court to restrain Yatnal from making slanderous statements in future.