Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister, B. S. Yediyurappa on Monday poked fun at Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, by saying that the latter single-handedly ensured that the BJP came to power in the state in 2019, by sending his loyalists to the saffron party.
Yediyurappa's jibe came in the backdrop of Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah criticising the BJP during his speech on budget as an 'illegal government' that had come to power after orchestrating Operation Lotus.
In response to Siddaramaiah's charges, when BJP members started opposing his Operation Lotus remarks, Yediyurappa intervened and asked BJP members not to disturb him (Siddarmaiah) during his speech "as I know him better than you (BJP members) he likes me and I like him.
"More than anyone here, he (Siddaramaiah) envisioned this government therefore, he sent his loyalists to BJP and this government came. Now he is accusing me of orchestrating Operation Lotus, but in reality, everyone inside the Assembly and across the state knows who was the chief architect for the BJP government coming to power here in 2019," he explained.
Reacting to this, Siddaramaiah shot back that Yediyurappa must prove his statement.
In a subtle retort, Yediyurappa dared Siddaramaiah to continue making the same allegations (Operation Lotus) against him till the next Assembly elections in 2023 and he can be assured that people will again send him back as Leader of the Opposition and not anoint him as the CM.
"The Congress party is day-dreaming. They will never come back in 2023. Forget 2023, now soon, three Assembly sets and a Lok Sabha set is going to face by-elections, and Congress can't win a single seat in these four seats. I will ensure that they will be in Opposition for the next 10 years," he said.
Throwing the gauntlet at Yediyurappa, Siddarmaiah challenged him to dissolve the Assembly and face elections right away. "I am challenging you to dissolve the Assembly and face elections then I will show who will sit in the Opposition," he said.
Intervening at this juncture, Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri chided Siddaramaiah to lift the veil on where he was going to contest this time. "We are eagerly awaiting to know from where you are going to contest. Is it Badami or elsewhere?" he asked.
In response to this, Siddarmaiah said that he would contest from Badami Assembly seat and he was not looking for any other seat this time.
With this statement his friendly and jovial banter with BJP leaders ended.
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