KARNATAKA

Yediyurappa defends BJP ‘appeal’ to Deve Gowda

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: “What is wrong if the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leaders made an appeal to [Janata Dal (S) national president] H.D. Deve Gowda to support the National Democratic Alliance as well as the prime ministerial candidature of L.K. Advani,” is the former Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s response to the charge made by the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Yediyurappa hastened to add that he had no information on what exactly had transpired between Mr. Deve Gowda and BJP leaders such as Rajnath Singh and Yashwant Sinha. But he wondered if it was wrong to make such an appeal in politics. “It is left to a seasoned politician like Mr. Gowda to decide whether to accept such a plea, if at all it was made,” he argued.

Mr. Yediyurappa said he was pained that Mr. Kumaraswamy had said that he (Mr. Yediyurappa) had been on the brink of quitting the BJP some time before the formation of the coalition government. “Yes, I admit that some time ago I committed such an unpardonable crime. But I have rectified such lapses and have taken utmost care to prevent the recurrence of such an incident. The party leaders have total confidence in me,” he said.

“I had such an immense faith in Mr. Kumaraswamy in the past 20 months that when some people suspected that he might not hand over power to the BJP, I said that even if God appeared before me and said that Mr. Kumaraswamy was going to ditch me, I would not believe it. But, finally, he let me down.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy should have apologised for failing to keep his word on transferring power, the BJP leader said.

He said it had upset him when Mr. Kumaraswamy did not come to his rescue when Mr. Deve Gowda alleged that he had not met the victims of communal riots in Mangalore despite knowing that “it was a lie”. He also expressed anguish over Mr. Deve Gowda’s statement that no BJP leader in the State was capable of handling the post of Chief Minister. “We gain experience only when we get exposure through such responsibilities,” he said.

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