Yeddyurappa-Kumaraswamy temple face off on June 27

The two leaders have agreed for a face-to-face before Lord Manjunatha temple at Dharmasthala.

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2011, 23:19 PM IST

Bangalore: The unending acrimony between BS Yeddyurappa and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy will reach a famous temple with both the leaders agreeing to testify before the presiding deity on the issue of an alleged compromise bid by the Chief Minister.

The two leaders have agreed for a face-to-face before Lord Manjunatha temple at Dharmasthala, a famous pilgrim town in Dakshina Kannada district.

On a day when charges and counter charges flew thick and fast, Yeddyurappa invited Kumaraswamy to come to Dharmasthala and swear by Lord Manjunatha that his aide tried to lure him into a "compromise formula" to end their hostilities.

Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy have been digging out dirt against each other levelling charges of corruption and nepotism during their respective regimes.

The temple testimony started with Kumaraswamy on Thursday accusing Yeddyurappa of trying to buy peace with him, a claim quickly refuted by the Chief Minister, who challenged him to swear before Lord Manjunatha through an open letter in newspapers today.

As Kumaraswamy accepted the gauntlet, Yeddyurappa`s ministerial colleagues came out with the date for taking the issue to the divinity.

Lehar Singh, an MLC and a trusted aide of Yeddyurappa, who allegedly contacted Kumaraswamy, refuted having played the role of a mediator.

"Yes I will be there on June 26 night itself and testify before the God on my statement the next day," Kumaraswamy, who has been persistently targeting Yeddyurappa on corruption charges, said.

Reacting to the open letter published by Yeddyurappa inviting him to prove his charge, Kumaraswamy said, "I am ready to come to Dharmasthala tomorrow itself between 11.30 to 12 noon. Will Yeddyurappa come with his messenger?"

Hours after Kumaraswamy`s invitation, Ministers R Ashoka, BN Bacchegowda, Somanna fixed on June 27 as the date for the temple face off between Yeddyurappa family and Kumaraswamy. "The Chief Minister is ready to meet Kumaraswamy on June 27. Let Kumaraswamy come with his family to swear before the God. God will decide who is at fault and who is the culprit," Ashoka said.

The ministers defended release of Yeddyurappa`s open letter in the form of advertisements, saying it was necessary to clear doubts in the minds of people.

"The Chief Minister wants to end these false allegations once and for all and hence has invited Kumaraswamy to Dharamsthala on June 27," Ashoka said.

Describing JDS as a "black mailing party", he charged that Kumaraswamy was in the habit of making false allegations.

Chief Minister`s political Secretary BJ Puttaswamy, said, "There is no need for a compromise formula as the Chief Minister is successfully running the government and has the support of people".

KPCC president G Parameshwara dubbed Yeddyurappa`s advertisements using the tax payers money to settle scores with Kumaraswamy as "childish".

Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah and former prime minister HD Devegowda have also come down on Yeddyurapa for the advertisement.

PTI