Umesh Katti denies rumours,says MLAs met for lunch only

The former Minister Umesh Katti has denied allegations that he was trying to topple the BJP government in the State by leading a dissident group against Chief Minster B.S. Yediyurappa.

In a video clip released in Bengaluru on social media on Friday, he said that he had invited some legislators for lunch at his Bengaluru home twice this fortnight, but there was no discussion on politics. “I am neither involved in dissident activities, nor am I engaged in a plot to overthrow the government. North Karnataka MLAs had not had proper North Karnataka style lunch for two months and we had lunch together. It was also a long time that we had met,’’ he said.

“I had gone to the Chief Minister to request him to nominate my younger brother Ramesh Katti to the Rajya Sabha from the State unit of the BJP, so that the party’s Central unit considered it. He had come to know of the lunch I was hosting at my home and asked me about it. I told him it was non-political. Mr. Yediyurappa asked if he could join for the next lunch and I requested him to come. But he did not come,’’ he said.

He urged his followers not to misunderstand his gesture and requested media houses not to politicise the issue.

However, Ramesh Katti maintained that they will keep requesting the party high command for a Rajya Sabha membership for him and for a ministerial berth for Umesh Katti. “I had lost the last Lok Sabha polls by just 3,000 votes. But I was not given party ticket this time. Mr. Yediyurappa promised me that I would be sent to the Rajya Sabha. We met Mr. Yediyurappa to remind him of his promise,’’ he said.

He said that some leaders were upset that powerful Lingayat MLAs were being neglected by the State party leadership. He denied rumours that he and his brother were engaged in dissident activities.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 10:23:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/umesh-katti-denies-rumourssays-mlas-met-for-lunch-only/article31704586.ece

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