Hubballi: An audio tape in which Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is heard taking to task BJP leaders, who failed to publicly support the disqualified Congress and JD(S) legislators, who helped bring the BJP to power by resigning from the state assembly, has triggered a fresh controversy leading to red faces in the saffron camp. And what has made the controversy even more interesting is the revelation by Mr Yediyurappa in the tape that all 17 disqualified legislators had stayed in Mumbai for nearly three months on the directions of BJP national president, Amit Shah after they quit the state assembly.
The audio tape of the CM criticising his partymen during his speech at the recent Hubballi meeting of leaders of the seven assembly constituencies heading for by-elections in North Karnataka, has since gone viral. His comments were clearly aimed at BJP leaders like Deputy CM, Laxman Savadi and Umesh Katti , who have publicly opposed giving tickets for the coming bypolls to the disqualified legislators
"I feel I have made a mistake by forcing the 17 MLAs to resign and becoming CM with their help as party leaders are not supporting them” Mr Yeddyurappa said.
"All these legislators also look foolish and mad by trusting us and sacrificing their positions. What was the need for them to resign and help us come to power when we should have been in the opposition? They stayed away from their constituencies and family members by camping in Mumbai for two- and- a -half to three months on the direction of Amit Shah," he says on the tape.
Criticising BJP leaders for backing the candidature of defeated and rebel candidates like Raju Kage of Kagwad for the by-elections, the chief minister says that efforts should have instead been made to persuade them to work for the victory of the disqualified MLAs. "I never expected this from BJP leaders when disqualified legislators have remained firm on supporting us and fighting their case in the Supreme Court. You are speaking in favour of BJP rebels without understanding the ground realities. I have not remained glued to the Chief Minister's post as I have already served in that position. I have become CM again with tbe desire to do some good work," he adds.
State BJP president, Nalin Kumar Kateel, Mr Laxman Savadi, and several other senior leaders and ministers were present at the meeting....