The Congress Saturday claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was behind the alleged poaching of rebel MLAs that brought down the Congress-JD(S) coalition in the former Kumaraswamy-led government in the state earlier this year.
The party’s allegations came a day after a purported video of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, admitting that the 17 rebel MLAs were shifted to Mumbai on the orders of then BJP chief Amit Shah, surfaced on social media.
In the video clip, Yediyurappa is heard saying in Hubli, “You all know about the decisions of the 17 MLAs right? All of you in this room know how it was not just Yediyurappa’s decision, but that of the national president, to move them to Mumbai. For two-and-half months, they couldn’t go to their constituencies, nor meet their families, they just stayed there.”
The rebels who resigned from the Assembly were later disqualified by the Karnataka Speaker. Subsequently, the 14-month old Congress-JD(S) government failed to prove majority in July and collapsed. Challenging the Speaker’s decision, the rebel MLAs later moved the Supreme Court where the case is currently ongoing.
Reacting to the video clip, former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said told reporters, “What he (Yediyurappa) and Amit Shah did was 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.”
While addressing the media earlier in the day today, senior Congress leader K C Venugopal said the party would approach the top court to produce the video as evidence. “I think you all are aware of the latest video of B S Yediyurappa related to the poaching of Congress and JD(S) MLAs. We have always said that the BJP is misusing government agencies to poach MLAs, now it’s established beyond doubt. We’ll approach the Supreme Court with the evidence,” he said.
Former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who had to ultimately step down to pave the way for the BJP government in the state, told reporters, “How the BJP misused power and money was exposed yesterday. Now people have to judge them.”
He added that he will file a petition in court based on the contents of the clipping. “We already decided whatever content is there, that we are going to file before the court,” Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bengaluru.
The JD(S) leader said he will not demand any inquiry because he has reservations about the outcome.
“Any inquiry is not going to help. Based on whatever former Central Vigilance Commissioner N Vittal has written about the functioning of investigation agencies in his book, I am convinced that nothing will happen,” Kumaraswamy added.