The Congress on Wednesday called for the dismissal of the Yediyurappa government in Karnataka, saying the Supreme Court’s decision on disqualified MLAs had exposed BJP’s ‘Operation Kamal’ in the state. The court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs whose rebellion led to the fall of the Kumaraswamy government and the return of the BJP to power in July but gave some relief by allowing them to contest the upcoming bypolls to 15 Assembly seats. The Congress welcomed the judgement saying the “completely hypocritical face of the BJP” stands exposed by this verdict.
“We call for immediate resignation of the chief minister. We ask the prime minister and other important people in this Cabinet to do soul searching about what their party is doing. Please don’t have this wrong impression that these things are happening at state-level without the 100 per cent involvement of central leadership... Today the BJP stands completely exposed,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
He said the Karnataka government stood completely exposed as there was every kind of malpractice in this operation. This, he said, was not the first time as one had seen it in Goa and Arunachal Pradesh and now in Maharashtra.
Congress general secretary in-charge for Karnataka KC Venugopal welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, upholding the disqualification of defecting MLAs.
Describing it as a vindication of Congress’s stand, he termed the judgement a slap on the face of BJP and its leadership that, he claimed, exercised all sorts of unconstitutional, illegal and corrupt practices to bring down the Congress-JDS government.
“The BJP formed government in Karnataka by violating constitutional norms, democratic values and ethos. After the SC judgment, BS Yedyurappa has lost all moral right and authority to continue in his post. The judgement rendered continuation of the BJP government in the state morally untenable,” he said.
He urged the president and the Union government to immediately dismiss the BJP government in Karnataka which was formed through horse-trading, and unconstitutional and illegal practices.
“The Supreme Court’s decision has exposed BJP’s ‘Operation Kamal’ in Karnataka... The Yediyurappa government is an illegitimate government in terms of law and constitution and should be dismissed immediately,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
He also asked for an independent inquiry into the role of the BJP leadership to “illegally” topple the JDS-Congress government in Karnataka. Surjewala also demanded a probe into ‘Yediyurappa tapes’.
“Public opinion and democratic values demand that not only should the illegitimate Yediyurappa government be sacked, but BJP’s conspiracy to bring down an elected government on the basis of money power be investigated. The ‘Yediyurappa tapes’ need to be investigated. Where did all this black money come from? What was the role of BJP leadership,” he asked.
“Will Operation Kamal, which is notorious for use of money and muscle power in Karnataka, be investigated impartially? Will the role of Yediyurappa and Amit Shah be examined? Will the BJP give tickets to those MLAs whose disqualification has been upheld today by SC,” asked Surjewala.
He said that if the prime minister does not reply to these questions then he will forever be responsible for polluting the country’s polity.
Claiming that the ball is now in the prime minister’s court, Singhvi asked if Modi has the courage to sack the illegitimate Yediyurappa government as he is often found preaching about morality in public life.
“If PM Modi fails to do so, he will be held responsible for demolishing democracy, undermining the Constitution and lowering the political standards in the country for a long time to come,” he said.
Singhvi echoed his views, saying the Yediyurappa government does not have the moral right to continue in office any more.
It was now established beyond doubt that a democratically elected government was felled by using “massive inducements, threats and allurements”, disregarding every basic tenet of public propriety, he said.
“It goes on to establish that the present Yediyurappa government is an illegitimate government,” he said.
“It will be in fitness of things, constitutional propriety, democratic values and political fairness, that not only be this illegitimate government dismissed, but an impartial court monitored probe be undertaken to ascertain the role of money and muscle power in destabilising the Congress-JDS government,” he said.
Singhvi claimed it was clearly an attempt by the BJP to destroy democratic values through shameless display of money power.
“The Supreme Court decision vindicates the stand of the speaker almost 95 per cent. It shows that ‘Operation Kamal’ is happening everyday and everywhere in the country,” he said.
“Those who preach us about corruption, and moral and Gandhian values have to realise that they have to walk the talk,” Singhvi said.