BJP national president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had "supervised and made all arrangements" for the 17 Karnataka lawmakers whose revolt led to the collapse of the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government earlier this year, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is heard saying in a purported audio clip that was leaked to media. The startling revelations by chief minister himself has raised series questions about the morality in politics.
"You do know, don't you, that it wasn't Yediyurappa who made them take this decision. The national president was aware of this and supervised this and made all arrangements. You do know this? You do know, don't you, about the decision of 17 people - they were away in Mumbai for two-three months and were not able to go to their constituencies or see their families. You do know that, don't you?" the Chief Minister is heard saying in the audio clip.
"Unusually, they helped us, who should have been on the opposition for the rest of the term. They helped us become the ruling party. They gave their resignation as MLAs, went to the Supreme Court. Knowing all this - we should stand by them, come what may," he said.
"But none of you has said this. I did not expect this from you. I am sorry. I didn't need to become CM (Chief Minister). I have been CM three or four times. I have seen this. I now feel I have committed a crime by becoming CM after making them have faith in me," Yediyurappa said.
According to NDTV, when asked about the audio clip, Yediyurappa didn't question its authenticity and said that he was speaking to BJP workers "in the interest of the party".
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind through Governor of Karnataka demanding dismissal of Yediyurappa government and Home Minister Amit Shah from council of ministers "in the interest of democracy".
"What he and Amit Shah did was conspiracy to murder democracy & a violation of the Constitution. Both the Chief Minister and Home Minister have no right to hold a constitutional post," senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said.
The resignations of 17 rebel MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) led to the collapse of the HD Congress-JDS government in Karnataka. The MLAs were later disqualified by the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker. At the time, the Congress party had accused BJP of hatching a conspiracy against the Congress-JD(S) government.