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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Karnataka ex-CM Siddaramaiah hits back as BJP attacks him over ‘politics based on caste’

In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah said his statements were being misinterpreted. “Casual private discussion at my residence is being misinterpreted by @BJP4Karnataka leaders to derive sadistic pleasures.

bengaluru Updated: Oct 29, 2019 06:23 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Congress leader K Siddaramaiah.
Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Congress leader K Siddaramaiah.(ANI Photo)
         

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday attacked former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah for indulging in “caste-based politics” after a video purportedly showing him claiming that Lingayats were no longer with chief minister BS Yediyurappa, a Lingayat, went viral. Siddaramaiah hit back and accused the BJP of misrepresenting him over the video in which he is also purportedly heard saying that the Vokkaligas, too, do not support former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, a Vokkaliga.

In the video of Siddaramaiah’s purported conversation with some of his Congress colleagues, he also appears to criticise former minister D K Shivakumar for holding Janata Dal (Secular)’s flag at a rally on Saturday. The rally was organised to greet Shivakumar upon his return to Bengaluru after spending 50 days in the Enforcement Directorate custody in a money laundering case.

The BJP tweeted the video while attacking Siddaramaiah, who is purportedly heard in the video responding in the affirmative when told the Congress does not have anybody to “encash” the erosion in Kumaraswamy and Yediyurappa’s core support base.

“India is progressing forward. Will the master of ‘Appeasement politics’ ever grow beyond caste?” the BJP tweeted.

In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah said his statements were being misinterpreted. “Casual private discussion at my residence is being misinterpreted by @BJP4Karnataka leaders to derive sadistic pleasures. Illumination of truth shall always prevail over the darkness of lies. This will be my Deepavali message to my political rivals,” he said. “The statement in the video is, in fact, my expression of happiness that people see beyond the caste to decide their representatives. This is a sign of social progress & matured electorate. What is wrong if I say that people are being secular?”

Kumaraswamy brushed aside Siddaramaiah’s purported comments while Shivakumar said senior leaders were with him.