Gadkari asks Yeddyurappa to call off truth test

Bangalore: In a virtual rap to B S Yeddyurappa, BJP on Friday advised him not to mix religion with politics and drop his temple face-off programme with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy at Dharmasthala on the issue of an alleged compromise bid by the Karnataka Chief Minister.

"I advised Yeddyurappa that it was not appropriate to use religious places, especially temples, for politics,"  BJP President Nitin Gadkari, in the city to attend a function, said.
"There are lots of allegations and these allegations are because of political frustrations," he said, referring to the charges made by Kumaraswamy that he had been approached by an emissary of Yeddurappa to arrive at a compromise and to refrain from releasing "documents" revealing alleged irregularities involving the Chief Minister`s family.

"We will fight out political issues, politcally and legally," Gadkari told reporters. The directive comes close on the heels of seers and religious leaders asking the two leaders to call off the `truth test` before Lord Manjunatha, presiding deity at a temple in Dharmasthala.

Softening his stand two days ago, Yeddyurappa had said religious leaders had written to him and advised him on the issue and he would take a "final decision" (on the truth-test) on June 26.

Yeddyurappa had dubbed Kumaraswamy`s claims as false and baseless and invited him to swear before Lord Manjunatha on June 27, a challenge that the JD(S) leader accepted.
The face-off had invited flak from various sections of the society and leaders.

BJP`s first-ever government in the south has repeatedly come under attack from JD(S) which has levelled several allegations of corruption against Yeddyurappa and his family.

Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy said he remained committed to his decision of visiting the temple on the day chosen by the Chief Minister.

"Not withstanding the fact whether the Chief Minister comes to Dharmasthala temple or nor, I am still committed to my decision to be there on the date suggested by Yeddyurappa and act in accordance with my conscience," he said in a statement. Kumaraswamy said he had no intention to use the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, a holy forum, for political activities and wrote a letter to Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade expressing his views on the `truth test`.

Referring to religious leaders advising him to back out of the programme, the JD(S) leader said, "I am not responsible for it. Chief Minister is responsible for it. Yeddyurappa is the creator of this controversy".