The Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday demanded Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's immediate resignation after a High Court order dismissed his petition seeking rejection of an old corruption case.
Urging the BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to intervene and ask BS Yediyurappa to step down, the senior Congress leader said the BJP high command that has been planning to replace the chief minister has now got a strong weapon against him.
"I demand the resignation of Mr Yediyurappa, because his petition for quashing the FIR against him was dismissed by the High Court of Karnataka. Therefore, he has no right to continue as chief minister for a second," Mr Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking to reporters in Begaluru, Siddaramaiah said BJP leadership has to immediately intervene and ask Mr Yediyurappa to resign.
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rejected BS Yediyurappa's plea seeking to quash an FIR against him pertaining to illegal denotification of land in 2006-07 when he was the Deputy Chief Minister in the BJP-JD(S) coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy.
Noting that the judge in his order has in detail explained the reason why the investigation has to continue and the FIR cannot be quashed, Siddaramaiah wanted to know how BS Yediyurappa could continue as the chief minister.
"As he is the chief Minister and has powers, there are chances of him influencing the investigation. There cannot be a fair and impartial investigation, so he should not be in power and should resign immediately. Let him come back once he is acquitted. We don't have any objections," he said.
If BS Yediyurappa respects the law and believes in democracy, he should resign immediately, the Congress Legislative Party leader said.
"If he is adamant and does not resign, then the BJP and Prime Minister must intervene. Those who had claimed "Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga" (PM Narendra Modi''s slogan promising to end corruption) must act," he said.
He said if BS Yediyurappa does not resign, the congress will take to the streets and protest."... But I feel he may resign on his own," the congress leader added.
"We will decide in party forum and decide what needs to be done to put pressure on him to resign," he said.
Stating that the High Court has said the FIR cannot be dismissed and the investigation has to take place under the watch of the Lokayukta court, Siddaramaiah claimed it is because the hig court has no trust in the Lokayukta police.
"There is a serious allegation against Mr Yediyurappa. He can be issued a warrant and may even be arrested as it is a non-bailable offence under prevention of corruption act," Siddaramaiah said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)