Suspect JDS getting indirect funding from BJP, says Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (S) was being funded “indirectly” by the BJP and that the whole of India had turned into an ATM for the saffron party. In an exclusive interview to Sowmya Aji of the ET on the penultimate day of campaigning for the May 12 elections, Siddaramaiah addressed various issues and said if he had to recommend the banning of Popular Front of India, he also had to recommend the RSS for the same. Edited excerpts:
On BJP’s charges of Congress playing communal politics
It is they who divide society along caste and communal lines. The Congress party unites everyone and takes them along. We have nothing to learn from them. Along with Tipu Jayanti, our government celebrates Krishna Jayanti, Kittur Rani Chennama, Kempe Gowda, Devara Dasimayya, Hemareddi Mallamma jayantis. Onake Obavva (who opposed Tipu Sultan’s father Hyder Ali) should also be celebrated. We will do it next.
PFI ban
It is the Centre who bans parties and organisations. If they want to ban, there are plenty of agencies to do it. If I have to send a report seeking a ban on PFI, I should also seek one on RSS, as they are equally responsible for murders. Of the 24 murders in the coast that the BJP is talking of, only 12 are RSS activists and we have punished the murderers of all those unfortunate people as per law. The courts have let some of them out, but we have done all that we can.
IT raids
They (the centre) came to know that BJP is going to be defeated in Karnataka. As a last weapon, they are misusing their powers by directing the income tax department to conduct raids only on Congress people. They searched the room in the resort in Badami where I stayed and where (former union minister) C M Ibrahim was staying after I left. In 70 years since Independence, has this happened? This is my 12th election from 1971. At no point of time have the IT people raided anybody’s house or party workers.
EVM tampering
I am not afraid or worried about that. There is no strong evidence (of tampering through technology.)
Role of money
We don’t know how to make money or spend it. BJP has a lot of money and is spending it. The whole of India has become an ATM for them. The JD(S) is also spending money. I suspect they are getting indirect funding from the BJP.