Violence stirs up political storm in Bengaluru
Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president and chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s son, Vijayendra, said in a tweet that the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), had a role in the violence. He said the groups flourished in the Congress rule.Updated: Aug 13, 2020, 02:55 IST
A political row erupted after three people were killed in violence over a controversial post in Bengaluru on Tuesday night even as sparks flew thick and fast.
Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president and chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s son, Vijayendra, said in a tweet that the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), had a role in the violence. He said the groups flourished in the Congress rule.
Panchayati raj and rural development minister KS Eshwarappa struck a similar note, saying that the Congress was supporting fundamentalist elements. “I am not blaming the entire community but the KPCC (Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee) President seems to be supporting fundamentalist elements in that community who are bent on using violence.”
KPCC president DK Shivakumar, who visited the house of party legislator Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, blamed the BJP. “While we condemn the violence, the person who posted the derogatory comment is a BJP supporter,” he said. Murthy’s house was burnt down by the mob.
The account that was used to make the controversial post belonged to Naveen, the nephew of his Murthy. Naveen said his account was hacked into.
Shivakumar displayed what he said were posts by Naveen expressing support to the BJP. “Instead of pouring water on the fires lit, the BJP is further instigating the whole thing.” The KPCC president also claimed that prompt police action against the accused could have prevented the violence. Leader of opposition Siddaramiah, too, condemned the violence and appealed to both Hindus and Muslim communities to maintain calm. BJP parliamentarian Pratap Simha hit back at the Congress leader. “You withdrew 175 criminal cases which were there against 1,600 SDPI and KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity) extremists in 2015 when YOU WERE in power. Even now, why are you hesitating to condemn extremist elements in the Muslim community?” Another BJP MP Tejasvi Surya demanded that the state follow the Uttar Pradesh model and recover the cost of damage from the perpetrators.
JD (S) leader and former CM H D Kumaraswamy said in a series of tweets that no religion or community was above the law. “Anyone who doesn’t respect the law of land should be punished,” he said. At the same time, Kumaraswamy called for action against whoever made the derogatory post. Even as Vijayendra, the CM’s son, accused the Congress of nurturing extremist organizations, the BJP state general secretary, Ashwath Narayan, said the violence was planned and well-organized. He, too, demanded that the perpetrators should be made to pay for the damages. “The CCTV cameras in the vicinity of the police station have been damaged. This is ample proof that this was pre-meditated violence,” Ashwathnarayan added.