Karnataka

‘Firing gunshots to welcome Minister shows BJP’s goonda culture’

People open fire with guns to welcome Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, New and Renewable Energy Bhagawanth Khuba in Yadgir on August 18, 2021.  

 

Taking serious exceptions to the firing of gun shots to welcome Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, New and Renewable Energy Bhagawanth Khuba in Yadgir on August 18, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Eshwar Khandre said it showed BJP’s inherent goonda culture.

“Earlier, they [the BJP] used to terrorise people with latis (batons), and now they have taken up firearms. We used to see such ugly and terrifying scenes in Bihar and other northern States, which the BJP is bringing to Karnataka. It shows the real face and culture of the saffron party,” Mr. Khandre said in a media conference at the Congress office in Kalaburagi on August 19.

BJP supporters had fired several rounds in the air using countrymade guns to welcome Mr. Khuba upon his arrival for participating in the BJP’s Jan Ashirvad Yatra in Yadgir.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Eshwar Khandre (2nd from right) asks if police gave permission to BJP activists to open fire at the public rally on August 18, during an interaction with mediapersons in the Congress office in Kalaburagi on August 19, 2021.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Eshwar Khandre (2nd from right) asks if police gave permission to BJP activists to open fire at the public rally on August 18, during an interaction with mediapersons in the Congress office in Kalaburagi on August 19, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Arun Kulkarni

 

Criticising police for the lapse, Mr. Khandre said, “Do the activists who opened fire have the licence to use firearms? Did police give permission to carry firearms in a public rally? Who would have been responsible if people were injured? What were the police doing when the activists were carrying firearms in the public rally? The police should answer these questions.”

Commenting on the Jan Ashirvad Yatra, Mr. Khandre said people would not bless BJP leaders but curse them for the insensitivity and irresponsibility in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thousands of people succumbed to the pandemic. Millions more have lost their livelihoods due to the lockdown. Many people died just because they did not get hospital beds or oxygen or drugs like Remdesivir on time. The Union and State governments, however, hardly did anything. They displayed insensitivity and irresponsibility when the country was reeling under a health crisis and people were suffering. The BJP leaders have now come to seek people’s blessing. People would not bless them. They would rather curse them,” Mr. Khandre said.

Former ministers Sharan Prakash Patil and U.T. Khader, legislator Kaneez Fatima, party leaders Jagdev Guttedar, Tippannappa Kamakanur, Allamprabhu Patil, Sharnkumar Modi and others were present.

 

'There are better ways to welcome people'

 

Pragatipara Sanghatanegala Okkoota, a conglomerate of progressive organisations, condemned the gunfire welcome offered by BJP supporters to Union Minister Bhagawanth Khuba.

Kalaburagi-based social activists representing various organisations R.K. Hudgi, Maruti Gokhale, K. Neela, Arjun Bhadre, Dattatreya Ikkalaki, Prabhu Khanapure, Sudhama Dhanni and Srimanth said using firearms amounts to terrorising people.

“Welcome is generally offered with flowers or in other decent ways as per the country’s multi-cultural traditions. It is India’s real culture. But, BJP leaders’ gunfire welcome in Yadgir is essentially Taliban culture. There is no other way but to call BJP India’s Taliban. Earlier, the BJP had given trishuls and other lethal weapons to students and provoked them to carry out acts of violence. BJP has been nurturing and expanding its culture of violence in the country,” they said in a statement.

 

The statement says: “BJP has utterly failed in its governance on the development front. The Jan Ashirvad Yatra is a drama that it is playing to cover up its zero achievements in development. BJP leaders are violating COVID-19 norms by organising huge crowds. Being a Minister in the Union government, Mr. Khuba and his party have no respect for the law of the land. With its anti-democratic and violent culture, BJP has exposed its autocratic and fascist culture.”

The activists demanded the arrest of Mr. Khuba and other BJP leaders who participated in the Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Yadgir on August 18.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 4:10:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/firing-gunshots-to-welcome-minister-shows-bjps-goonda-culture/article35998088.ece

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