Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday said he will initiate legal action against former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy for their repeated statements saying he had ‘bought’ MLAs from both their parties. Speaking to media, Yediyurappa said that in the next couple of days, his legal team will file defamation suits against both the leaders of opposition parties. This after leaders from both the Congress and JDS have been accusing the BJP led by the then state president Yediyurappa of having indulged in horse-trading to bring down the coalition government. An explosive tape of Yediyurappa talking to party leaders, allegedly admitted to ‘Operation Kamala’ had surfaced, causing huge embarrassment to the BJP.
Since this tape became public, it added heft to the opposition’s allegation that the episode of rebellion within both Congress and JDS was orchestrated by the BJP in order to grab power in the state. This allegation has been repeated by several leaders of both parties in their speeches for the campaign of the bypolls scheduled for December 5. Reaction to Yediyurappa’s statement of filing a defamation suit, leaders in the Congress party said they were amused and delighted and welcomed the CM to take the allegations to court. Stating that this would give Congress an opportunity to prove the role of BJP in the defections, they said this was a miscalculated political move by the Chief Minister.
Many within the BJP too seemed surprised at the CM’s statement of filing defamation cases. Speaking to Republic TV on the condition of anonymity, a senior BJP leader said this could backfire on the CM as prima facie, there was enough circumstantial evidence to prove the BJP's involvement in bringing down the previous government. The highly placed source also added that this could be a political tool, to deflect the accusation ahead of the by-elections as the newly inducted disqualified legislators have been facing ire from the people of their constituencies when they went back to seek their votes. Saying that the statements of several of these disqualified MLAs too indicated to being in constant touch with the BJP and having helped them bring down the Kumaraswamy government on Yediyurappa’s instructions. The source believed that the accusation of a financial transaction between Yediyurappa and the MLAs could possibly prove to be the technical ground on which CM will sue.