Yatnal calls Doreswamy ‘fake freedom fighter’, ‘Pak. agent’

BJP leader draws ire of Opposition parties, social movement leaders

Former Union Minister and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal on Tuesday stirred up another controversy by calling centenarian freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy a “fake freedom fighter” and termed him as being a “Pakistani agent”, drawing the ire of Opposition parties and social movement leaders. Mr. Yatnal also said that those who raise anti-national slogans should be shot and sent to “Jannat” (heaven).

The BJP leader was speaking to presspersons in Vijayapura on Tuesday.

Mr. Yatnal’s remarks came in response to the statement made by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who at a mammoth protest rally in Vijayapura on Monday, had questioned the role of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar in the freedom movement. He had said that it was the Congress that participated in the freedom movement. “What has been the contribution of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar to the freedom movement?” The ‘Save Constitution Andolan’, in which Mr. Siddaramaiah made the statement, had senior political leaders Yashwanth Sinha, Sitharam Yechury and M. Mallikarjun Kharge on the stage.

On Tuesday, Mr. Yatnal at a press conference asked Mr. Siddaramaiah “Has Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi participated in the freedom movement?” In the same breath, he turned his ire at Mr. Doreswamy, who has questioned the CAA and NRC, and said: “That old man in Bengaluru (Mr. Doreswamy) is a fake freedom fighter and acts as a Pakistani agent.”

Warning those who raise “anti-India” statements, he said they should be directly shot instead of being send to jail.

Meanwhile, Mr. Doreswamy reacted: “If a dog barks, it won’t affect devaloka. He speaks like a stupid. It is better not to react (to such statements).”

Acknowledging that Mr. Yatnal should not have spoken about the centenarian in such language, a BJP spokesperson said that he had been advised in the past not to issue statements that embarrass the party and the government. The party will advice him again and social harmony has to be maintained. “However, the party also feels that Mr. Doreswamy for his stature should remain non-partisan. But, he is biased,” he alleged.

It is not the first time that Mr. Yatnal has raked up a controversy. He had earlier remarked that Muslims need not come to him for any work as “they were not his voters”.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:22:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yatnal-calls-doreswamy-fake-freedom-fighter-pak-agent/article30915710.ece

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