BJP fact-finding panel blames Congress, SDPI for D.J. Halli violence

Members of BJP’s fact-finding committee, headed by Arvind Limbavali, interacting with Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, MLA, at his residence in D.J. Halli on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The ruling BJP and the Congress continued to spar over the D.J. Halli violence, this time through the fact-finding committees that both parties have formed to probe the matter. A day after the Congress committee, led by G. Parameshwara, visited the area, the BJP committee, led by Arvind Limbavali, visited MLA R. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s house on Sunday, blamed the Congress and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for the violence, and sought to emphasise that Mr. Murthy was a Dalit and the Congress had failed to stand by him.

With the BJP trying to build a narrative of Dalits being wronged by the minority community, both the parties, in fact, chose Dalit leaders to lead their fact-finding committees. “The information we have gathered indicates this is an internal strife within the Congress, a section of which colluded with the SDPI to target a Dalit leader. It is sad that while a Dalit MLA has been targeted like this, Congress leaders are yet to condemn the incident in unequivocal terms, because of their minority votebank politics,” Mr. Limbavali said, comparing the violence on Tuesday night to “what is seen in Kashmir Valley”. He further claimed that B.R. Ambedkar had told Dalits not to trust the Congress and it was a party that defeated him as well. All this while, Mr. Murthy sat next to him and made no comments.

Congress ‘at a loss’

The Congress hit back at the BJP, questioning the propriety of the ruling party forming a fact-finding committee even as the State government led by the party was carrying out a probe into the incident. “We are at a loss to understand why the BJP, whose government is in power in the State, has formed a fact-finding committee. Is it because the party does not believe in their own government and Home Department? Is it a conspiracy to influence the probe that is under way or is it a “Santhosh” programme to embarrass Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa?” tweeted Congress leader Priyank Kharge, referring to BJP national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh. When quizzed over this, Mr. Limbavali said Mr. Kharge and other leaders must support their own Dalit MLA before questioning them.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar categorically denied the role of any Congress worker in the violence. “None of our workers had any role in the violence. It is our MLA who was attacked. The incident has only shown the failure of the BJP government, be it in intelligence gathering or controlling law and order. To cover this up and divert the attention of the people, the BJP is spreading rumours of an internal rift in the Congress and blaming us for the riots,” he said.

When quizzed over former MLA for Pulakeshinagar Prasanna Kumar rejoining the party, Mr. Shivakumar said, “While it is true that Prasanna Kumar has applied to join the Congress, it is without any conditions. I have also spoken to Srinivasa Murthy and he has no issues with it. This is unrelated to the violence that rocked D.J. Halli.” Mr. Kumar had who quit the party after Mr. Murthy joined the Congress from the JD(S) in 2018 and was given Assembly election ticket.

Another BJP delegation, led by the BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel, is scheduled to visit Mr. Murthy’s house on Monday.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 5:53:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjp-fact-finding-panel-blames-congress-sdpi-for-dj-halli-violence/article32369601.ece

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