'The BJP is no longer the BJP. It has become the Bharatiya Janata Poaching Party.'
'They talk of black money and here they are ready to pay Rs 100 crore to MLAs.'
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi is corruption,' charged Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, May 19, shortly after B S Yeddyurappa quit as Karnataka chief minister.
His allegation came after audio tapes were released by the Congress party which purportely showed BJP leaders trying to bribe their MLAs and induce them to switch sides to vote for the BJP government in Karnataka.
"They could not have got the numbers other than horse-trading or threatening (the MLAs) with Enforcement Directorate and other government agencies," Congress Spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed tells Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
What is your reaction to Yeddyurappa resigning as chief minister as he could not prove his majority on the floor of the House?
This is the victory of democracy. This is the victory of our Indian Constitution.
This is the victory of the Supreme Court judgment which did not postpone the confidence vote; the governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala, had given 15 days to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority.
The Supreme Court gave the BJP and Yeddyurappa just one day to prove their majority.
Horse-trading could not take place and, therefore, it is a victory of democracy.
The observation that is being made is that the party that emerged third in the elections won, and that the party that had the most number of seats lost today.
Is this what Indian democracy has come down to?
What happened in Meghalaya? The BJP had two seats, but they formed the government. They came in last and still they formed the government. Let us not forget that.
Here we were 117 in number and they were 104. We were asking them how are they going to get the numbers to prove their majority?
They could not have got the numbers other than horse-trading or threatening (the MLAs) with Enforcement Directorate and other government agencies.
That is why we were very sure they will fail the floor test and that is what happened today.
Our MLAs stood with us and that is the victory of democracy.
Your party leaked tapes of BJP leaders allegedly trying to bribe Congress MLAs to vote for them.
How genuine were those tapes, as several claim they were fake?
Who is saying the tapes are fake? The party which brings out fake news every other day; the same party which brings out fake tapes on JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and other incidents.
Even before the Karnataka elections, I saw a lot of fake news that the Popular Front of India is with the Congress on a national news channel.
Our tapes are genuine. Our party MLAs got this call and they have put out the tape.
It is all out there. You can hear it. There is Sriramulu, Yeddyurappa and Yeddyurappa's son (allegedly heard on tape). These are genuine tapes.
Which other way could they get MLAs?
The BJP is no longer the BJP. It has become the Bharatiya Janata Poaching Party. And we wonder where is the money coming from.
They talk of black money and here they are ready to pay Rs 100 crore to MLAs.
(Janata Dal-Secular leader H D) Kumaraswamy also said the BJP is ready to pay Rs 100 crore to his party MLAs.
You are making wild accusations against the BJP. Prime Minister Modi is known for his honesty. He has won elections on the anti-corruption plank.
Good question, but tell me who enacted the Lokpal? We enacted the Lokpal.
The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government enacted the Lokpal before we left in 2014, so we did not get enough time to appoint the Lokpal.
What is the function of the Lokpal? To see that there is no corruption.
Why has Modi not appointed a Lokpal in the last four years? Why did he fight against the Lokayukta and not appoint one in Gujarat even though he was Gujarat chief minister for three terms?
He even went to the Supreme Court and fought that he did not want the Lokayukta in Gujarat.
And we now have the Rafale deal which is big. The UPA got cheaper aircraft, so why are we now paying more money for the Rafale planes under the Modi regime?
With this, Make in India has also gone, so where is the corruption?
The corruption is with the BJP. What happened to the Nirav Modi scam?
Will the Yeddyurappa government's fall have some bearing on the national elections of 2019?
Of course. It shows that the BJP tried every method that is possible.
The BJP had plan A, plan B and plan C ready. They went to the governor and he gave them 15 days.
We were not given 15 days in Goa. And in Goa, they told us we did not have a pre-poll alliance whereas they too had no pre-poll alliance with the Goa Forward Party.
In Meghalaya and Manipur too, they did not have a pre-poll alliance, but had a post-poll alliance.
The Congress and JD-S had the numbers in Karnataka. We went to meet the governor at 4.30 pm, but he refused to meet us. They go and he meets them at 5 pm.
(The BJP's lawyer) Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that he had the numbers as well as the names of the MLAs.
When the Supreme Court asked for names and the number of MLAs, Rohatgi said he did not have the numbers and the names, but he (Yeddyurappa) will show it tomorrow at the plot (assembly). That is again a lie.
Are you alleging the BJP lied to the Supreme Court?
Of course. They have been lying.
You see, when the top man lies, everybody else also lies.
Modi accused former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former army chief General Deepak Kapoor, former vice president Hamid Ansari of sedition during the Gujarat elections.
Where is the proof?
In the Cambridge Analytica case too, they accused us of various things and when I asked for proof, (Information Technology Minister) Ravi Shankar Prasad said he will provide the proof next week.
Have you ever seen any evidence from the BJP? We only say give us the evidence, but they do not give any evidence.
PM Modi's integrity and honesty is respected across India.
Where is the integrity and honesty? He is the first prime minister who has never conducted a press conference. So where is his integrity?
If he is not corrupt, then he should have taken the high moral ground and investigated his party president son's business dealings.
You must be elated, but this is just one victory among many losses.
The BJP won because of backdoor politics.
We won Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya and Bihar. But they won by backdoor politics and therefore, we were very careful this time.
As Rahulji said today, this governor goes, another puppet comes in. This is the problem we are facing.
All our institutions and other agencies are compromised and the only way to defeat them is when people vote against them.
You got to respect the Constitution of India.
During the election campaign, Rahul Gandhi called the JD-S the BJP's 'B team'. Now you have joined hands with them. Won't the voters feel cheated?
We are both secular parties and that is the common thing between us.
Now you tell me what is common between the PDP (the Peoples Democratic Party) and BJP in Jammu and Kashmir due to which they have formed the government?
What is common between the Goa Forward Party and the BJP? The GFP campaigned strongly against the BJP and they then joined hands in a post-poll alliance.
In Bihar, what did the BJP do? They joined hands with Nitish Kumar.
So please tell the BJP to practise what they preach.
Will the victory in Karnataka revive the Congress?
We will fight till our last breath to throw these fascists out.
We are the oldest party in the country. When we are pushed to the wall, we will not give up.
We don't want BJP-mukt Bharat, but they want Congress-mukt Bharat.
We would love an Amit Shah and Modi-mukt Bharat because they are not the BJP of (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee.
They tell people that we criticise them, but look who is criticising them.
(Former BJP leader) Yashwant Sinha and their own member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha are criticising them.
Their own ally Shiv Sena on Friday said it was a 'murder of democracy'. The Shiv Sena is not our ally. The Telugu Desam too is not with them.
Don't you think Yeddyurappa will win sympathy after quitting like Vajpayee did in 1996?
What sympathy? People are seeing that the Congress was not given a chance to form the government when they were the single largest party like in Goa.
Moreover, we have 38 per cent of the votes, which is 2 more per cent of the votes than the BJP in Karnataka.
The Congress and JD-S together have 56 per cent of the votes. The people are seeing all this.
Just today Prakash Javadekar said two parties have come together without an ideology, so he must tell us what is he doing with the PDP in J&K?
Don't talk nonsense. Practise what you preach.