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Rajnath Singh accuses Cong, Siddaramaiah for trying to ‘divide’ society in Karnataka

Speaking at the BJP’s Parivartana Yatra with an eye on the state assembly polls, Rajnath Singh raised the murders of activists and journalist Gauri Lankesh and the Tipu Sultan controversy.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2017 19:13 IST
Press Trust of India, Bengaluru
Rajnath Singh,Karnataka assembly polls,Siddaramaiah
Union home minister Rajnath Singh speaks during the Parivartan rally in Bengaluru on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday accused the Congress government in Karnataka of trying to “divide” society and lashed out at it on the law-and-order front, citing the killings of right-wing activists and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Addressing a public meeting in Bengaluru as a part of the BJP’s ongoing statewide ‘Parivartana Yatra’, organised to “expose the misdeeds” of the Siddaramaiah government ahead of the Karnataka assembly polls which are due early next year, he said the Congress regime believed in spreading enmity between different communities.

“Rudresh, Kuttappa and 19-year-old Paresh Mesta were murdered in cold blood. Even Gauri Lankesh was killed. If we come to power in Karnataka, we will get these cases thoroughly investigated,” Singh said.

RSS activist Rudresh was hacked to death early this year and a similar fate befell local Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader DS Kuttappa in Kodagu district in November 2015.

Veteran journalist Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside her residence in the state’s capital in September, leading to a national outrage.

Mesta, who was from the fishermen community, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Uttara Kannada district, leading to violence last week.

The state government has ordered a CBI probe into Mesta’s death, for which the BJP has blamed the “jihadi elements”.

Accusing the Congress of dividing the society, Singh said when there was a controversy surrounding the 18th-century ruler of Mysuru, Tipu Sultan, the state government should have refrained from celebrating his birth anniversary.

“There were many other historical characters for celebrating their birthdays such as Kittur Rani Chennamma, the founder of Bengaluru, Kempe Gowda, and (renowned engineer) Sir M Visvesvaraya. The Karnataka government wants to divide the Indian society,” he added.

Singh said the Karnataka government gave reservations to Muslims, even though there was no such provision in the Constitution.

“Reservation based on religion is a deception with the people of the state. The Constitution does not allow it,” he added.

The Union minister said the country was scaling new heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Despite the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and demonetisation, various international economic organisations have projected a high economic growth rate for the country. They have even recommended such economic reforms,” he added.

Regarding border security and internal peace, Singh said the way the Dokalam stand-off with China was resolved showed that India was a strong country.

“Even China realises that India is not the same anymore,” he added.

Singh said the country had taken the terrorists in Kashmir head-on and curbed their activities substantially.

Karnataka’s growth would be rapid if the BJP was voted to power in the state, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa too slammed chief minister Siddaramaiah for allegedly talking about Modi in a derogatory manner.

“You (Siddaramaiah) are only a child in front of Prime Minister Modi. When the whole world is admiring Modi, who are you to talk about him in an insulting way?” the former chief minister said.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 19:13 IST