A Karnataka Minister's controversial remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state assembly today triggered vociferous protests by the BJP with the saffron party demanding they be expunged.
A Karnataka Minister’s controversial remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state assembly today triggered vociferous protests by the BJP with the saffron party demanding they be expunged. Trouble broke out when former chief minister and Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar of the BJP charged that several Congress MLAs, including Ministers like UT Khader “are seen and have been photographed with rowdy sheeters.” Retorting, Khader sought to drag the Prime Minister’s name leading to heated exchanges. Strongly protesting, BJP members demanded that the reference to the Prime Minister be expunged. Speaker K B Koliwad assured that he would look into it.
Earlier, the House witnessed a war of words between the treasury and opposition benches with both accusing each other of supporting and having rowdy sheeters in their party. It all started when BJP member V Sunil Kumar accused the Congress government of misusing police department to file cases against ‘innocent’ political opponents and right wing activists under the rowdy sheet (list of rowdies), ahead of assembly polls in the state.
Shettar made the remark against the Congress leaders after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said: “You are speaking as though all those in the rowdy list are innocents. Why are you batting on their side? Looking at the way you are speaking I’m doubtful that all rowdies are in BJP.” The Chief Minister also said usually habitual offenders were booked under rowdy sheet with proper evidence by police and government had nothing do with it.
However, he assured that if the members give the list of innocents who had been booked, the government will get it examined. Raising the issue during question hour, Kumar alleged cases were being registered against activists or functionaries belonging to a specific kind of organisations without following the manual. Several other BJP members including C T Ravi, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri along with Shettar joined Kumar and alleged that out of political malice several right wing and BJP activists were being booked under the rowdy sheet. “For political reasons, those who are fighting in the society for some cause are being booked and harassed, especially Hindu activists, while real rowdies are outside roaming freely,” Shettar said.
Responding, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy promised that if innocents had been booked,they could be brought to his notice and he would take it up with police officials. Shettar and BJP members then demanded that rowdy sheeters list be made public so there is clarity on who is who. Siddaramaiah, who earlier said that it can be disclosed, later clarified that in some cases things cannot disclosed. However, if there was anyone who was booked without proper reasoning, it will be examined if brought to the government’s notice, he added. He rejected the allegations that cases were being registered against activists of a certain ideology for political reasons.