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BJP-led Union government did not ban SDPI to divide votes: Siddaramaiah

The former Chief Minister was adressing the people as part of the Prajadhwani Yatra of the Congress in Udupi

January 22, 2023 05:11 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:12 am IST - MANGALURU

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at the  Prajadhwani Yatra in Udupi on Sunday.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at the  Prajadhwani Yatra in Udupi on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on January 22 that the BJP-led Union government did not ban the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) with an intention to divide votes.

Addressing the Prajadhwani Yatra of the Congress in Udupi, Mr. Siddaramaiah likened the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the SDPI to the BJP. He said that the Union government banned only the PFI leaving its political wing SDPI out of the ban to ensure that the votes get divided.

Mr. Siddaramaiah claimed that the Congress government led by him had not released any PFI or SDPI activists involved in criminal activities or communal violence from jail as claimed by the BJP leaders. The BJP was making baseless allegations in this regard, he said.

Claiming that the Congress was the only secular party in the country, the former CM said that Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi was the first terrorist. Congress leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were victims of terrorism, he added.

The Congress leader said that while Hindus believed in humanity, the supporters of Hindutva opposed it. The RSS and the BJP which promoted Hindutva did not believe in the Constitution, he alleged.

“None of the RSS or the present BJP leaders participated in the freedom struggle. Show me any one,” he said.

Siddaramaiah lashes out against Hindutva forces

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that youth in the coastal belt should not fall prey to the communal designs of the BJP and the RSS. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is the founder of Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS revered Godse and Savarkar, he said.

“Savarkar wrote apology letters to the then British administration five times from jail. He got monthly pension from the British administration,” Mr. Siddaramaiah added.

“I appeal to the misguided youth in the coastal belt to not get lured by the designs of Hindutva forces which want the belt to remain a Hindutva laboratory,” he said adding that the Congress opposed Hindutva and not the Hindus.

Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka State in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the agenda of the State government led by the BJP is to nurture “communalism, corruption and commission”.

DKS remarks on Madhwaraj family

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D. K. Shivakumar said the Congress made Pramod Madhwaraj, former Udupi MLA and former Congress minister — who quit the party to join the BJP last year — as a minister though he was a first time MLA.

The Congress had also made his mother Manorama Madhwaraj and his father Madhwaraj as ministers when they were with the party. “What more could Congress could do for them? Notwithstanding it, Mr. Pramod Madhwaraj quit the Congress,” he said.

The voters of Udupi should defeat him in case if he contests any election next time, Mr. Shivakumar said.

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