Siddaramaiah sends Rs 100-cr defamation notice to PM Modi, Amit Shah
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday sent a legal notice threatening to file a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, if they did not publicly apologise to him for allegedly making false and defamatory statements against him.
The notice comes days ahead of the May 12 assembly elections in the state that are seeing a close and bitter contest between the Congress and BJP.
The notice, drafted by lawyer and Congress’s member of legislative council VS Ugrappa, accused the BJP of having published allegedly defamatory advertisements in media outlets. It also added that Modi made several allegedly defamatory against Siddaramaiah in his election campaign. The notice referred to Modi’s statement that the state government was “a 10% commission government”.
“The BJP has published several political advertisements in Kannada and English newspapers, television channels and on the social media, which are defamatory against Siddaramaiah,” Ugrappa said in the notice.
Responding to the notice, state BJP spokesperson S Prakash said these are desperate measures by the Congress which has been unable to counter Modi. “They have clearly lost the plot and when they have been unable to pose a challenge to the prime minister they have resorted to these legal means,” he said
The notice listed other instances when different allegations were made against the chief minister by Modi, including the jibe that the Siddaramaiah government was a “Seedha Rupaiya sarkar” (straight money-minded government).
“These allegations are completely false, fabricated and do not have an iota of truth and the same has been made with the malicious intent to defame my client and destroy his reputation in the eyes of the public at large,” the notice said.
Accusing the BJP leaders of having committed libel under sections 499, 500, 501 and 502 of the Indian Penal Code, the notice called for an unconditional apology. Failure to do so, it said, would render the parties to civil and criminal action and the payment of damages of ~100 crore.