Bengaluru: An event meant to celebrate the life of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh on her birth anniversary in Bengaluru on Monday turned into a platform to rally people against voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka and the party’s top leadership.
Led by 99 year-old freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, the forum urged people to unite against saffron and right-wing forces in the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka “to save democracy".
The BJP, which has swept many state elections since 2014, is fighting hard to come to power in Karnataka, one of the last big states still ruled by the Congress. The elections are also crucial for the BJP as it would be the last big state heading for polls before 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Calling it a ‘litmus test’, Doreswamy said that Karnataka must not give the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi space to come to power in the state and that everyone, including political parties with different ideologies, must unite against the ‘common enemy’.
Jignesh Mevani, the newly elected legislator from Vadgam in Gujarat, said that he will be in Karnataka for three weeks in April asking members of socially backward classes not to vote for the BJP. He even conceded that it would be alright to make ideological compromises to keep the BJP and the right-wing groups out of power.
Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist and editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead at her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on 5 September last year.
Though the Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up specifically to nab the culprits, is yet to make any progress on the investigation, Gauri Lankesh’s views against Hindutva and other right-wing forces is believed to be the reason behind her murder, at least by those opposing right wing ideologies.