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The Supreme Court will “consider” the plea from the Congress party to place the leaked BS Yedurappa tape on official record.

“We will go through it. You have brought it to our notice… we will look into it. The order of the Speaker has to be tested,” a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said on Tuesday. The court  stated this after counsel for the party and one of its senior leaders, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued the tape, in which Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa purportedly says that BJP chief Amit Shah  had made arrangements for the MLAs  who had switched over to bring about the fall of the Congress-JDS coalition government. The court is currently hearing a petition challenging the order of then Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who had disqualified all rebel MLAs and a verdict is expected soon.

Last Saturday, after the video of Yediyurappa surfaced, Congress and JD (S) accused the BJP of having misused government agencies for allegedly poaching their MLAs in the state. Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who headed the coalition government for 14 months, said the people will judge the BJP. He also said the Chief Minister has no right to hold a constitutional post. In the video that has gone viral, Yediyurappa purportedly says that the decision of the 17 JD (S) and Congress MLAs to resign, which led to the fall of HD Kumaraswamy-led government in July, was taken by the Central leadership of the BJP and that the party workers should honour the “sacrifice” of the rebel MLAs.

The video was allegedly shot during his meeting with the party leaders in Hubli on October 26. “Today, I did not feel that you people are trying to save this government after the way you spoke … We did not speak about the issue of disqualified MLAs till now because we are expecting the Supreme Court judgment. We are expecting that they may get relief from the court and they will get the chance to contest,” the Chief Minister is heard saying in the video.

Following their resignations, a number of Congress and JDS MLAs stayed at a hotel in Mumbai. BS Yediyurappa took oath as Chief Minister on July 26 after the coalition government led by Kumaraswamy failed to win the trust vote.

—India Legal Bureau

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