Even as BJP legislators in Karnataka disrupted the state Assembly for two days in a row accusing the coalition government of not having majority in the House, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on Friday pinned the blame on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for attempting to bring down his government. Lashing out at the Prime Minister Modi and BJP leaders in Karnataka, Kumaraswamy accused Modi of "trying to destroy democracy" and alleged that the BJP tried to bribe Karnataka Speaker.
In a hurriedly-called press conference at his home office in Bengaluru before presenting the state budget on Friday, Kumaraswamy alleged, ‚ÄúBJP is saying they will give 50 crores to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. Where are you getting the money after demonetisation? Are you giving white money or black money? That too to the Speaker.‚ÄĚ
Claiming to expose the real face of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy went on to release an audio file of allegedly the BJP trying to lure a JD(S) MLA through his son. Kumaraswamy alleged that Gurmitkal MLA Nandangouda Kankur's son Sharangouda had received calls from Yeddyurappa in the wee hours of Friday, asking the MLA to defect to BJP.
Sharangouda, who was also at the press meet, alleged that he went and met with Yeddyurappa in Devadurga at 12.30 am on Friday after informing Kumaraswamy. Alleging that the BJP claimed they had 11 Congress and JD(S) leaders, Sharangouda went on to allege, ‚ÄúThey said they would give my father district in charge minister post. They asked my father and me to go to Mumbai and also offered Rs 25 crore. They offered me a ticket to contest elections.‚ÄĚ
However, when Sharangouda asked Yeddyurappa why he was doing this, the BJP state chief allegedly replied to him, ‚ÄúYeddyurappa said, ‚ÄėBrother, we have given Rs 50 crore and booked the Speaker. We have judges on our side.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Voice purported to be that of BJP leader: You speak to Saheb.
Voice purported to be BSY: I can tell you one thing is confirmed. You are important and the plan is to make 15 MLAs resign. And to ensure resignations are accepted, Ramesh Kumar has been offered Rs 50 crore.
Sharangouda: But the Speaker is a Congress leader. So‚Ä¶
BSY: Ramesh Kumar is a good friend. I will tell the Governor that it will be against the constitution for the coalition to continue as they don‚Äôt have majority. Amit Shah and Modi and... will ensure that the Governor will side with us. Even if the Speaker creates problem, they will take care of it.
Kumaraswamy concluded his press conference stating, ‚ÄúI am writing a letter to the Speaker stating that the BJP has brought shame up on the Assembly by claiming to have the Speaker in its pocket. I will ask him to take an inquiry if needed.‚ÄĚ
Yeddyurappa, however, responded to the allegation in a press conference, stating that the audio is fake and that he would retire from politics if Kumaraswamy could prove it. ‚ÄúI haven't met anyone. This is a drama that they are playing. The coalition govt in Karnataka has lost the trust of the people and have no moral right to continue Kumaraswamy is an expert in voice recording and can produce anything he wants. Whatever he has produced in the press meet today is fake and baseless.‚ÄĚ
He added, ‚ÄúIf the allegations (of bribing Speaker) are true, I will leave politics. I will resign my MLA post. If Chief Minister can prove this, I will resign from MLA post and retire from politics. He's a cinema producer, he's an expert at all this. Let him prove first. Within 24 hours I'll retire from politics, 101%, if he can prove it.‚ÄĚ