Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (PTI file)
Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (PTI file)

Kumaraswamy courts controversy at BJP protest

  • Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy asked protestors, apparently BJP supporters, to take their grievances to PM Narendra Modi as they had voted for the latter
  • From agrarian distress to the threat to the stability of the coalition government, Kumaraswamy has been fighting to keep his administration afloat

Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy on Wednesday courted controversy after he asked some protestors, apparently Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters, to take their grievances to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they had voted for the latter.

The incident occurred in Raichur district, where the chief minister is carrying out his ‘grama vastavya", or village stay programme, when he encountered some workers and protestors from the Yeramarus Thermal Power Plant and other places, allegedly questioning the chief minister over jobs and other amenities.

“You voted for Narendra Modi and come to me with your problems," Kumaraswamy can be heard saying in video recordings taken by some people in the crowd. The crowd stopped the bus in which Kumaraswamy was travelling, waving BJP flags and chanting Modi’s name that provoked the chief minister who was visiting villages in the region. “You want me to do a lathi charge?" Kumaraswamy added, evoking sharp criticism from members of the BJP who chided the chief minister for his outburst.

“This is how our CM @hd_kumaraswamy reacted when asked for basic amenities. Is he CM for the entire state or only for JDS voters?" Pralhad Joshi, the union minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines and MP from Dharwad constituency, wrote on Twitter.

“ARROGANCE OF POWER at its BEST!" Shobha Karandlaje, the BJP MP from Udupi-Chikmagaluru, also added on Twitter.

The latest episode giving the BJP more reason to attack the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka that appears to be on the backfoot even a year since they first took office.

From deepening agrarian distress to the threat to the stability of the coalition government, Kumaraswamy has been fighting hard to keep his administration afloat.

The BJP on Wednesday approached Union Home Minister Amit Shah to get the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the IMA Jewels scandal in Karnataka.

The main accused and now a fugitive, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, had named prominent Congress and JD(S) leaders as involved in the over 700 crore scam. Bengaluru based IMA Jewels, that had been in operation since 2006, had collected hundreds of crores from ordinary investors and had claimed to be in commodities exchanges, promising over 30% returns per year. Over 40,000 people have filed complaints against the company and the state government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the matter.

“If traced, both the company's owners prima facie are alleged of having links with Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamic terrorist organisation. It is feared that these owners were funding this organisation and other terrorism supporting organisations in the country," Karandlaje stated in her letter.

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