Siddaramaiah charge: MLAs bought for Rs 30 crore

Siddu was addressing an election rally for his party candidate Mr Venkat Rao Ghorpade in by-poll bound Vijayanagar assembly constituency on Thursday.

Ballari/Bengaluru: With the crucial bypolls to 15 assembly seats just a week away and the mysterious happenings behind the collapse of the previous coalition government continuing to hold centre-stage, the poll campaign for the 15 seats that the BJP needs to form a majority only got uglier and more shrill, with Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah going on the attack, accusing the BJP of giving `30 crore to each of the 17 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators to make them resign from the assembly leading to the collapse of the H.D. Kumaraswamy government.

Hitting back, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa warned of legal action against Siddaramaiah and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy for making statements alleging the 17 disqualified MLAs were bought over by his party. Speaking to reporters at Karwar, Yediyurappa said, "I am planning to file a defamation case. I am gathering all the copies of their statements."

Mr Siddaramaiah was addressing an election rally for his party candidate Mr Venkat Rao Ghorpade in by-poll bound Vijayanagar assembly constituency on Thursday. He said, "We have seen people purchasing cattle in the market for a price but the BJP purchased Congress and JD(S) MLAs for a price of `30 crore for each of them.

These disqualified legislators sold themselves for money. But people in their respective constituencies have self-respect and now are set to vent their anger by defeating them in the by-poll."

Launching a scathing attack on disqualified Congress legislator and the BJP nominee for Vijayanagar assembly seat Anand Singh, Mr Siddaramaiah said Mr Singh had promised him that he would never return to the BJP in his lifetime while joining the Congress during the 2018 assembly election.

He said Mr Singh had approached him through then Ballari district in-charge minister Mr Santosh Lad seeking to join the Congress and contest the 2018 assembly poll on a Congress ticket. "When I asked him how I could recommend the party ticket to a person who went to jail in the illegal mining scam, Mr Singh told me that he had already served his prison term and the cases against him had almost come to an end. Then, he assured me that he would not repeat his wrongdoings. But all of a sudden, he quit the Congress only for the sake of a ministerial position in the BJP government", said Mr Siddaramaiah. "I appeal to voters of the constituency to make Anand Singh a permanent disqualified legislator by defeating him in the by-poll", he added.

Further, he said that Mr Singh always wants to be in power to secure his ill gotten wealth earned from massive illegal iron ore mining in the district. "Anand Singh is a feudal lord and a member of the mining mafia. He is least bothered about the common man and development of the constituency. Such people should not continue in public life", he said while appealing for votes for Congress candidate Mr Venkat Rao Ghorpade.

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