The ruling Congress in Karnataka today accused Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath of “provoking communal passions” in the state ahead of the upcoming assembly polls. Joining the ongoing war of words between Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and his UP counterpart, KPCC president G Parameshwara said his party respects Hindu monks (Swamis) and Adityanath is said to be one “but does not have qualities Swamis have.” “We don’t know what to call him (Adityanath). He is a Swami. We have respect for Swamis and address them with prefix of Sri Sri Sri but we don’t see any merits of a Swami in Yogi Adityanath,” he said. The Congress leader said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s speech here on Sunday was replete with allegations about Siddaramaiah’s personal life and his speech “polarised” society on communal lines. Hitting out Adityanath, he said “Why are you talking about Siddaramaiah’s food habits. You want to provoke communal passsions in people. You want to use cow slaughter and beef as weapons.”
Parameshwara said the personal remarks were not only uncalled for but also were “unconstitutional.” “A chief minister should not make personal attack on his counterpart,” he said. Stating that Karnataka does not require any lessons from Uttar Pradesh on development, he alleged that communal clashes, crime rate and child mortality were high in Uttar Pradesh compared to any other state. He said the Congress believed in “inclusive Hindutva” as against the “hardline Hindutva” of BJP.
Parameshwara said Rahul Gandhi’s visit to temples was being projected by BJP as the “Congress’ soft Hindutva.” “All our leaders used to go to the temples, which we never boasted of. We believe only in inclusive Hindutva,” he said. “Essence of Hindutva lies in taking everybody along. I ask BJP who made them custodians of Hinduism? Aren’t there Hindus in other parties too,” the leader said. About ticket distribution process for assembly polls, he said the party is preparing a list of winnable candidates.
The party was also obtaining performance reports of sitting MLAs, based on which a decision will be taken whether to give them another chance to contest the assembly elections. Escalating attack on Adityanath, Siddaramaiah had yesterday dubbed him a “jungle raj” chief minister, as both were locked in a Twitter war that went viral. A day earlier, Adityanath had mocked at Siddaramaiah’s assertion about his Hindu credentials to which the Karnataka chief minister had said the Hindutva he follows was the legacy of Swami Vivekananda and not Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.