Seeking an investigation by a sitting High Court judge on the relationship between the BJP and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), often associated with the now banned Popular Front of India (PFI), leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Thursday challenged the State government to come out with specific cases and names of PFI activists that the Congress government withdrew as alleged by the ruling BJP.
“I had written four letters to the BJP government seeking details of cases against PFI and its activists withdrawn during the Congress government. The answer provided by the government does not show any reference to PFI in cases that were withdrawn by the Congress government. Instead, the answer shows that cases against farmers, Dalits, workers and activists of Communist organisations had been withdrawn. Some of the accused in these cases are incidentally Muslims,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said in a detailed press statement in response to the BJP accusation that cases against PFI activists had been withdrawn.
Stating that the BJP was “peddling lies” on the issue, he asked the BJP government to provide specific instances where the Congress withdrew cases against PFI or PFI workers.
The former Chief Minister said that the investigation should cover the “internal understanding” between the two parties in specific elections, and the report should be made public.
Pointing out at public statements by Pramod Muthalik and Satyajit Surathkal, indicating the BJP’s relationship with SDPI, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “Neither the BJP nor the Sangh Parivar have denied their statements. It is a known fact that the biggest political beneficiary of the activities of PFI and SDPI is the BJP.”
Meanwhile, speaking in Mysuru, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B.C. Nagesh equated the Congress with the PFI. The Minister said the RSS was a “nationalist organisation” working for the country, while the PFI was engaged in “anti-national” activities and was hence banned. ‘’Now, the Congress is seeking a ban on the RSS which is what the PFI too had demanded. Hence there is no difference between them,” said Mr. Nagesh.