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Friday 24 January 2020

‘Karnataka is Congress’s second do-or-die moment’

The lawyer said the history of animus between HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) and ex-chief minister Siddaramaiah was a prime example. “If the trust vote is held fairly and peacefully, the Congress and JD(S) will get exposed,” Sinha said

New Delhi: Supreme Court lawyer Amitabh Sinha, who has been in news for his initiative to turn educational institutions of the country nationalistic beginning with the Vandemataram Dyal Singh College, has quipped that the attempts by the Indian National Congress (INC) to keep its flock together in Karnataka is the party’s second “do or die” moment in history.

“The Congress is very shaky at the moment and they are not confident of their status,” Sinha said in an exclusive interview with Sirf News, adding, “They are taking recourse to muscle power to keep their unholy alliance with the JD(S) from disintegrating.”

“There is terrible mutual animus between several MLAs of the opportunistic alliance,” the advocate said. “To overcome that, they have raised the issue of the pro-tem speaker, which is a red herring,” he added.

“The Congress’s issue with the pro-tem speaker is invalid because they have broken the convention of seniority while making such appointments on multiple occasions. In 2015, Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibte Razi had appointed Congress MLA PK Balmuchu as the pro-tem speaker. There were seven MLAs senior to him in the Congress and five MLAs senior to him in the opposition,” Sinha argued.

“The seeking of midnight judicial intervention twice—first to stop the swearing-in ceremony and then this issue of pro-tem speaker—betrays the anxiousness of the Congress because they know theirs is an unholy, opportunistic alliance and that their MLAs are unlikely to stick together,” Sinha said, “as many of them do not see eye-to-eye.”

The lawyer said the history of animus between HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) and ex-chief minister Siddaramaiah was a prime example. “If the trust vote is held fairly and peacefully, the Congress and JD(S) will get exposed,” Sinha said.

When asked how he could substantiate the charge of “muscle power” against the INC, Sinha said, “It was the Congress that did not want a trust vote first. They had presumed that they could manipulate the BJP’s MLAs once they formed the government. By rejecting the petition to put on hold the swearing-in of BS Yeddyurappa, his Council of Ministers and other BJP MLAs, the Supreme Court did not allow the Congress strategy to fructify.”

“When their (INC’s) first ploy came a cropper, they raised the pro-tem issue ignoring their own precedent in Jharkhand where the then government was allowed 19 days to prove its majority in the House,” Sinha said, recalling also the fact that BJP MLA KG Bopaiah, appointed pro-tem speaker by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday, had served as the pro-tem speaker 10 years ago when appointed by the then governor Rameshwar Thakur.

Sinha raised the issue of the protection sought by Kumaraswamy from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and that by HD Deve Gowda from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and questioned a section of the media that has reversed the actual story by suggesting that Naidu and Rao had gone out of their way to offer their police services to the “unholy alliance” that had nothing to do with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “Shouldn’t they have first asked the chief minister of their own State, Yeddyurappa, for protection?” Sinha asked.

“Did they seek police help from their CM and were denied the security? No. It was only courteous of Naidu and Rao to oblige when the heads of the hiding MLAs had requested for the security by calling up the two chief ministers,” Sinha said.

The lawyer also questioned how much money the INC has been spending nationally and internationally to not only keep their MLAs in different hideouts but also hire a battery of lawyers and influence the media commentary worldwide.

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