Senior Karnataka Congress leader and former minister DK Shivakumar has filed a Rs 204 crore defamation case against BJP Vijayapura MLA and former Union Minister BR Patil Yatnal. This pertains to Yatnalâ€™s statements to the media in June where he alleged Shivakumar lobbied with BJP leaders with regard to cases filed against him by central agencies.
The defamation case has been filed by Shivakumar in the Kanakapura Senior Civil Judge and JMFC court. As part of the case, Yatnal has been asked to appear before the court on or before September 18.
â€śHe (Shivakumar) is exerting pressure on the Central ministers through someone to drop cases against him. He is said to have assured the Union ministers and the BJP President that he would not oppose the BJP forming government in the state. No one from BJP has invited Shivakumar to join the party,â€ť alleged Yatnal, while speaking to reporters on June 23.
In his petition, Shivakumar has said, â€śThese statements have been beamed in electronic and print media too. These are baseless, false, irresponsible and irrelevant statements made by Mr. Yatnal. These remarks are passed with malafide intension to malign and to tarnish my public image. This has put a huge question mark on my loyalty, sincerity, integrity and image at party and public level.â€ť
He added, â€śFurther it is damaging to an extend that I am looked at with suspicion by Kanakapura assembly constituency voters, Congress leaders, workers, and citizens of India in general and Karnataka in particular. It gives an impression that I am sacrificing the trust of people, leaders and voters for my personal and political gains. I have played a pivotal role in bringing Congress - JD(S) government to power. 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.â€ť
Following the defamation case, Yatnal could not be reached for a comment.