Karnataka

BJP, Congress lock horns over inflammatory SMSs

M. Venkaiah Naidu

M. Venkaiah Naidu  

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‘Cheap allegations will boomerang against Congress’

The inflammatory messages that led to the exodus of north-eastern people living in Bangalore appear to have triggered a tussle between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition Congress in the State.

Parameshwara’s charge

If Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara on Saturday suspected the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the inflammatory SMSs received by the north-eastern people in Bangalore, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday not only took serious exception to it, but also warned the Congress that such “cheap political allegations” would boomerang against it.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Naidu wondered how the Congress leader could make such an allegation when the Union Home Secretary himself had made a statement that the messages had originated from Pakistan.

Terming Dr. Parameshwara’s charges “dirty political allegations,” he asked the Congress to desist from making such claims.

“Making such allegations is akin to rumour-mongering,” he said, and wondered why the UPA government at the Centre was yet to act sternly against those who had spread rumours through mobile phones and social media.

Appeal

Mr. Naidu appealed to north-eastern people who had already left Bangalore to return to the city, and said that the government was committed to protecting them.

‘Vote-bank politics’

He blamed the “vote-bank politics” of the Congress and the UPA for the problems in the north-eastern region.

“While the Assam government failed to act sternly after the worst ethnic violence in that State, the Maharashtra government too failed to act against those responsible for the violence at a rally organised in Mumbai to protest against the ethnic violence in Assam though the protesters shouted pro-Pakistan slogans. This has only encouraged rumour-mongers,” he said.

Mr. Naidu accused the Centre of failing to extend adequate relief to Karnataka though the State was reeling under a serious drought, said to be the worst in the last 40 years. On the Centre not heeding to the State’s request of allocating 3 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, he said: “Huge stocks of foodgrains are getting rotten in the Centre’s godowns. But the Centre is not keen on providing a part of this to help drought-hit people of Karnataka. People are weeping and the leadership in Delhi is sleeping.”

He said MPs from the State were set to demand more aid from the Centre when the issue would come up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha likely on August 21 and in the Lok Sabha likely on August 22”.

However, when his attention was drawn to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s demand that the State government should start spending from its own exchequer on works related to drought relief instead of waiting for the Centre’s aid, Mr. Naidu refused to comment.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:24:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjp-congress-lock-horns-over-inflammatory-smss/article3796168.ece

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