“Has Gujarat BJP culture crept into Karnataka BJP as well?” asks Siddaramaiah
New Delhi: As the political climate in the state heats up ahead of polls later this year, a Karnataka minister’s call to “finish off” the Opposition’s former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah has sparked a new controversy. Siddaramaiah has demanded that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai should immediately fire the minister. He has accused Narayan of trying to “incite” people to kill him.
These remarks were made by Higher Education Minister CN Ashwath Narayan while addressing a public gathering in Mandya.
He said, “Do you want Tipu [Sultan] or [Hindutva ideologue VD] Savarkar? Where should we send this Tipu Sultan? What did Nanje Gowda do? You should finish him (Siddaramaiah) off the same way.”
Right-wing organizations have asserted that Tipu Sultan was slain by two Vokkaliga chieftains, Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda, rather than the British.
Congress reacted on this statement. Congress unit in Karnataka has filed a police complaint against the Minister. A complaint against state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel has been filed by Congress. He said those who revere Tipu Sultan should be “driven out” of Karnataka.
“Higher Education Minister Ashwath Narayan has appealed to people to kill me the way Tipu was killed. Ashwath Narayan, Why are you trying to instigate people? Get the gun yourself,” the Siddaramaiah said.
The former chief minister claimed in a series of tweets that the absence of any action against the minister demonstrated that Bommai, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, and their “incompetent cabinet is sleeping and is in agreement with Ashwath Narayan”.
“Has Gujarat BJP culture crept into Karnataka BJP as well?” he asked while demanding whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will remain silent even now, just as he was in 2002 (Gujarat riots). “Kannadigas will never let Karnataka become like Gujarat,” he wrote.
Narayan said his statement was being misinterpreted. He explained that by “finishing off”, he meant defeating the former Chief Minister electorally and not killing him.
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