Jaipur: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh taking responsibility for the inclusion of the Reddy brothers as ministers in Karnataka, clarified on Saturday that there was no rift between party veterans Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley over the issue.
"It would not be considered right to say that Sushmaji or Arunji (senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley) are responsible for this. I was the national president, so it happened with my consent. If anybody wants to fix any responsibility, they can hold me responsible for it, but I don`t consider Sushmaji or Arunji responsible for this," said Singh.
"There were some political compulsions due to which we had to take those decisions because for the first time, BJP government was being formed in south and BJP received full-fledged majority, so we also wanted that a stable government is formed, which should be Karnataka people-friendly, and should be able to develop Karnataka," he added.
Singh further said the news regarding a rift between Swaraj and Jaitley over the Karnataka issue is totally baseless.
"The news that was been shown on the news channels regarding an issue related to Karnataka that there is a rift between Sushmaji or Arunji, it is totally baseless. It is true that Arunji was election in-charge there at that time; I had sent him there because I was the president at that time," said Singh.
"I had also sent SushmaJi to resolve the crisis situation in their formation of government. I had asked her to go and resolve the crisis. So, both these leaders had a talk with each other and then after talking to the local leaders, they also contacted me. That decision was taken with my consent," he added.
In an interview to a magazine, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had said: "I have no hand in the political making of Bellary brothers...I had nothing to do with making them ministers or building up their stature as political leaders...When the Bellary brothers were made ministers, Jaitleyji (Arun Jaitley) was the prabhari (in charge) and Yeddyurappa was CM. I was opposed to their appointment as ministers but they (Jaitley, Yeddyurappa, Ananth Kumar) had some political compulsions."
Swaraj`s reported remarks are being seen by some as blaming Jaitley for the inclusion of the `tainted` Reddy brothers, Janardhana and Karunakara, whose names had figured in a mining scandal.