Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Deve Gowda on Monday admitted having used offensive language against Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. He said he had withdrawn his remarks later.
But he continued to accuse Yeddyurappa of “colluding” and “cheating” to grab 4,800 acres of land for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor, hurting farmers’ interests.
Gowda uttered profanities on Sunday while responding to questions on the corridor, which had been caught in a controversy over the size of land sought by its promoters, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE).
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party condemned Gowda’s remarks. Although Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa is not likely to initiate any legal action against him, the BJP’s Karnataka unit has threatened to sue Deve Gowda.
“We highly object to this kind of conduct by Deve Gowda and demand that he immediately express unconditional apology to the people of Karnataka. Else, he will have to face legal action,” said BJP leader Dhananjay Kumar.
On Monday, following a hearing of a case regarding the project land size in the Supreme Court, Gowda said the “agony” of those who would lose their land had forced him to use such harsh words.
He also alleged that a senior lawyer had “misled” the Supreme Court to get favourable orders despite a 2004 order passed against the company. He said NICE was going to “build a palace by burying the farmers”.
Some BJP workers held demonstrations on Monday to protest against Gowda’s remarks. Deve Gowda’s son, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said there was no need for protests as his father had expressed regret for his statement.