Alleging that the BJP has adopted a “divide and rule” policy, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar on Tuesday came down heavily on the party for curtailing the right to livelihood of Muslim traders.
“They cannot stop Muslim traders from doing business. We extend our support to the progressive citizen groups who have condemned this ban on Muslim traders in temple fairs. No one can stop traders from any community from doing business,” he asserted.
History cannot be tweaked
Responding to the BJP Government’s alleged move to tweak the portions related to 15th Century king Tipu Sultan in the syllabus, Mr. Shivakumar said: “I assume that the textbook panel has intellectuals. I am hopeful they will examine this comprehensively. No one can tweak history, which shows Tipu’s fight with the British. History also shows what all he did for Hindu holy places such as Kollur and Sringeri Mutts. History cannot be fabricated. We will wait for the Government’s decision on this issue.”
Referring to the textbook panel’s opinion that there are no documents to prove that Tipu had been conferred the title of “Tiger of Mysuru”, the KPCC president said: “It is neither me nor the BJP nor the Congress who gave him the title. Let them go and see the displays in the London museum. Let us ask the British who gave him this title.”
Against fuel price hike
Mr. Shivakumar also announced that the AICC would be organising a unique protest against the fuel price hike across the country. “On March 31, all our members and leaders in Karnataka have been asked to garland their gas cylinders and vehicles in front of their houses between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. They will record this and post it on social media tagging the Prime Minister,” he said.
‘Cong. ready for early polls’
Further fuelling speculation about possibility of early elections in Karnataka, Mr. Shivakumar asserted that the Congress is ready to face polls whenever they are announced. “Let them hold the elections this month itself or even tomorrow or announce on November 27. The Congress is ready,” he said.
While Karnataka is due for elections next year, there is speculation that it may be held early along with Gujarat.
Rahul Gandhi to visit Siddaganga mutt
Former AICC president Rahul Gandhi will visit Karnataka to participate in the 115th birth anniversary celebrations of the late Siddaganga Mutt seer Shivakumara Swami on March 31.
The same day, in the evening, Mr. Gandhi will hold meetings at the KPCC office with leaders from BBMP limits. The next day (on April 1), he will meet all legislators and elected representatives including former MLAs, MPs and those who lost in the 2018 elections. He will also hold virtual meetings with all active Congress members, Mr. Shivakumar said.
Asked if the Congress was banking on “soft Hindutva” policy, the KPCC president said: “Our leader Rahul Gandhi has clearly explained the difference between Hinduism and Hindutva during his speech in Jaipur.”