Bengaluru: An innocuous confession by BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa's on his alleged meeting with a JD(S) MLA's son who has figured in the audio tape episode, has come as a shot in the arm for the ruling coalition partners Congress and JD(S) who launched a stinging attack on Mr Yeddyurappa as well as on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who is on a state visit.
Mr Yeddyurappa's confession has not only come as a blessing in disguise for the coalition but has also left his partymen in an embarrassing situation.
No sooner than Mr Yeddyurappa admitted to having met the Gurmitkal MLA's son Sharanagouda at Devadurga inspection bungalow, the Congress and JD(S) demanded his immediate resignation from the Leader of the Opposition post.
Launching an acerbic attack on Mr Yeddyurappa who had alleged that the audio tape released two days ago was doctored, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy caustically remarked, "I congratulate him (Mr Yeddyurappa) for admitting that it was his voice in the 'Operation Kamala' audio. It was he who had rubbished these tapes as work of mimicry, but today, he has admitted to it (meeting Sharanagouda). It looks like Dharmasthala's Manjunatha Swamy must have given him some wisdom to make this admission."
On the BJP's threat to release an audiotape, in which he is purportedly heard demanding Rs 25 crore to give party leader Mr Vijugouda Patil a ticket to the Legislative Council, in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Mr Kumaraswamy nonchalantly said, "They (BJP) have said they will expose me in the House tomorrow. Let them do it. I am ready for it. That is an old case, I myself had raised that matter in the Assembly five years ago. It was a conversation which took place within the party."
"My party MLAs have contested elections by borrowing money. As chief minister, I haven't summoned anybody from a different party and offered them Rs 10 crore or Rs 20 crore. Mine is a regional party - where will I have the money? I have to beg and borrow to run my party. But Mr Yeddyurappa has looted, so he can afford (to buy MLAs)," he taunted.
Responding to BJP's allegations that he had tried to poach on its MLA Subhash Guttedar, Mr Kumaraswamy contended that he had never tried to do such a thing. "Mr Guttedar was our party leader and then he left to join BJP. He had come to me to give a representation. It is true that at that time I told him that he could have become a minister if he had stayed on in the JD(S), instead of defecting to BJP. But I didn't try to lure him with money. I haven't asked any BJP MLA to help save my party by joining me. I would never ruin the political future of any of my BJP friends, so that I can stay in power. I am not so selfish. I will be happy if Mr Yeddyurappa understands this," he added.
Reacting sharply to Mr Yeddyurappa's remarks, former CM Siddaramaiah tweeted daring him to retire from politics as he had promised. "Mr Yeddyurappa had said that he would retire from politics if the contents of the tape were found to be true. In this case, he has accepted it, so he should now walk the talk - retire from politics," he tweeted.
Water resources minister, D. K. Shivakumar sarcastically noted that Mr Yeddyurappa can't hide from the truth for long. "It looks like Mr Yeddyurappa's conscience has woken up - I appreciate it. May God bless him. This proves the audiotape is not doctored. The BJP can rubbish allegations made by the CM as bogus. But nobody can hide the truth.”...