Karnataka

Vokkaligas rally against ‘attack’ on community

People belonging to Vokkaliga community taking out a protest march in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

People belonging to Vokkaliga community taking out a protest march in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

A cross-section of leaders representing Congress and JD(S), and religious leaders participate in it

Thousands of people belonging to the Vokkaliga community took out a rally here on Wednesday to protest against the perceived “attack” on the community leaders in the recent times by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A cross-section of the community leaders representing the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) and religious leaders took part in the rally that went without any untoward incident.

Organised jointly by several Vokkaliga organisations in the light of the arrest of Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate, the rally saw leaders slamming the BJP for “misusing” the Central agencies against the community leaders.

The protesters gathered at the National College grounds where several Congress leaders, including KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, spoke. They then walked to Freedom Park, covering a distance of about 5 km.

‘Vendetta politics’

Besides Mr. Rao, Congress leaders Ramalinga Reddy, Krishna Byre Gowda, V.S. Ugrappa, and Narayanswamy addressed the gathering. Mr. Gowda said the Union government had been using Central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department as “hunting dogs”. Terming the arrest of Mr. Shivakumar “vendetta politics”, he said the BJP “was fighting against him like a coward since it cannot taken on him politically”.

Security was stepped up in Bengaluru in view of the protest rally by Vokkaliga community people.

Security was stepped up in Bengaluru in view of the protest rally by Vokkaliga community people.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Mr. Reddy, who was accompanied by his legislator-daughter Sowmya Reddy, said the vendetta politics would boomerang on the BJP.

Nanjavadhoota Swami, who addressed the gathering at Freedom Park, slammed the arrest of Mr. Shivakumar, and said the community had remained “calm” and maintained “patience” with the ongoing “assault” on Vokkaliga leaders. He drew the attention towards the death of Cafe Coffee Day founder V.G. Siddhartha owing to alleged harassment by the Income Tax Department, and also the fall of Congress–Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy. “We have come here to prevent Mr. Shivakumar from becoming another Siddhartha,” he said.

The protesters later handed over a memorandum to Governor Vajubhai R. Vala.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 3:03:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vokkaligas-rally-against-attack-on-community/article29395680.ece

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