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Kodagu stir ‘government sponsored’: Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru News : The statements come after some people held protests in Kodagu district when the leader of the opposition was in the district on August 18 to view the rain-related damage in the region.

Former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday said protests against him in Kodagu district, about 225 km from Bengaluru, last week were “government sponsored”, adding fuel to the growing controversy around the incident in which some people threw eggs on his convoy.

“I went to check the rain-related damages that have impacted farmers and the poor. Who stopped me? RSS, Bajrang Dal and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers. Why did they do it now as I have been there in 2019 also. These are planned and arranged protests. This is government sponsored (protests),” Siddaramaiah said.

The statements come after some people held protests in Kodagu district when the leader of the opposition was in the district on August 18 to view the rain-related damage in the region.

Several people, believed to be workers associated with the BJP, had held posters of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, black flags and one person, identified as Sampat, threw an egg on Siddaramaiah’s car.

They were protesting at the incident a few days earlier, before Independence Day, where one person who is the husband of a Congress corporator in Shivamogga had taken down a poster of Savarkar, leading to tensions in the district.

This led to some right-wing groups taking down posters of Tipu Sultan.

Siddaramaiah had also questioned why the BJP had put up Savarkar’s posters in a “Muslim area” to which several right-wing groups and state ministers took exception.

Since the incident in which Siddaramaiah’s convoy was waylaid, there have been several pictures of Sampath dressed in Congress colours.

However, Siddaramaiah said Sampath was being forced to say that he was a Congress worker.

“They have made him say that (he is a Congress worker). If it is so, why did he go a RSS Shakha meeting? Sampath is being told to say this. The Congress president should say that he is our worker,” Siddaramaiah said.

The issue also led to Siddaramaiah’s supporters claiming that it was a life-threat.

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has since said adequate security should be provided for the leader of the opposition.

Bommai on Sunday said there will be differing opinions on noted personalities like Savarkar and Tipu Sultan.

“Since these are historical facts, it is common to have pro and anti-arguments. But in case any rationality, it must be defended with rationality and oppose the same with it. Such issues must not be dragged to the streets and create law and order problems,” he said.

Speaking in his home district of Haveri, he said that former prime minister Indira Gandhi has praised Savarkar as a great son of the country.

“In democracy, responsibility is on them to decide till the level they can defend somebody on what platform. If they understand this, it is possible to work despite having differences,” he said.

“Instructions have been given to provide proper security to opposition leaders. However, it is left to political parties to give political touch to this incident. But maintaining law and order is the duty of all political parties,” Bommai said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by GOVT.in staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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