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Hitting back at JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had alleged that income tax raids were carried out on the aides of former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa after the latter had secretly met Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he would retire from politics if the allegation was proved.

“If H.D. Kumaraswamy proves that I had secretly met B.S. Yediyurappa ahead of the I-T raids, I would retire from politics. I had met Mr. Yediyurappa on his 76th birthday. After that, I had met him in the Assembly. Except for these meetings, I have not met Mr. Yediyurappa. If Mr. Kumaraswamy proves that I had secretly met Mr. Yediyurappa ahead of the I-T raids, I would retire from politics,” Mr. Siddaramaiah told mediapersons at Aiwan-e-Shahi Guest House in Kalaburagi on October 13.

Mr. Kumaraswamy had, on October 12 in Mysuru, alleged that the I-T raids were carried out at the behest of the BJP’s national leadership after Mr. Yediyurappa met Mr. Siddaramaiah. He had also alleged that Mr. Siddaramaiah had conspired to destabilise the BJP government in Karnataka by holding a secret meeting with Mr. Yediyurappa.

“Mr. Kumaraswamy has alleged that I was responsible for the I-T raids on the close aides of Mr. Yediyurappa. Who is in power? Do [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi, Yediyurappa and those targeted by the income tax department belong to my party? When I am in the Opposition, I have not visited the houses of people in power. I am not a person like Mr. Kumaraswamy who does such things,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

On the allegation that he had orchestrated the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government just to become the Leader of Opposition, Mr. Siddaramaiah pointed out that three JD(S) MLAs had joined hands with BJP to topple his government.