Kumaraswamy firm, CM backtracks on swearing | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kumaraswamy firm, CM backtracks on swearing

delhi Updated: Jun 22, 2011 23:14 IST
Shekhar Iyer

A famous temple in Karnataka could have turned into an arena of political swearing. However, with various mutts coming out strongly against turning temples into places of political tests, this may remain an empty challenge for Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

The CM is having second thoughts after challenging his rival HD Kumaraswamy to go for a ‘truth test’ before Lord Manjunatha over the charges the JD-S leader levelled against him. Yeddyurappa said he would take a ‘final decision’ (on the truth test) on June 26.

Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said he would not budge from his commitment to face the challenge from Yeddyurappa to appear before Lord Manjunatha on June 27. Lord Manjunatha is a famous temple in Dharmasthala.

Releasing a set of documents against the CM in New Delhi, Kumaraswamy alleged yet another ‘scam’ involving limestone mining rights worth R1,500 crore. His latest charges involved the CM’s family acquiring Ratna Cements for mining rights in Belgaum when Yeddyurappa was the deputy CM and he was the CM of the JD(S)-BJP combine in 2006.

Minutes after Kumaraswamy targeted him, the CM said he would file defamation case against Kumaraswamy.

The CM dismissed his allegations as ‘baseless’ and lacking any valid evidence. He also said a ‘chargesheet’ against the Gowda family members would be released in New Delhi in two to three days.

Kumaraswamy said by releasing the documents, he wanted to prove how much respect the CM has for the God. “He took an oath at the Nanjundeshwara temple in Nanjangud a few months ago that he will not indulge in nepotism and favouritism.”

The test for rectitude began after Kumaraswamy accused the CM on June 16 of sending an aide to strike a deal to prevent the JD-S leader from exposing more scams concerning the CM and his family.

Issuing advertisements in most newspapers, Yeddyurappa denied the allegation and challenged Kumaraswamy to swear before Lord Manjunatha on the truthfulness of his allegation.

But Kumaraswamy is determined. “If I had not accepted the challenge, people would have suspected me,” he said.