`Dishonouring' of flag: inquiry sought

BANGALORE, SEPT. 17. Shankar Munavalli, member of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), who has been accused of doctoring pictures to show that BJP workers had dishonoured the national flag while travelling by train, has demanded a comprehensive inquiry by either the Centre or the State Government in that regard.

`Singled out'

He told presspersons here today that BJP leaders, including the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti; the State BJP President, H.N. Ananth Kumar; and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, B.S. Yediyurappa, had singled him out for attack since he had exhibited photographs and video clippings of BJP workers defiling the national flag in one of the coaches of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Express train by which Ms. Bharti travelled on August 25 before surrendering in a Hubli court.

"Knowingly or unknowingly, some of the BJP workers used the national flag as a blanket to cover themselves during the journey. Some others spread the flag on the floor of the train and played cards on it. Is it not disrespect [of the flag]?"

Mr. Munavalli said neither the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, nor the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, had prompted him to disturb the `tiranga yatra' of Ms. Bharti although the exposure of the disrespect shown to the national flag did have an effect on the yatra. "Some Congress supporters who travelled by the same train brought the matter to my notice and I took the opportunity to expose the misdeeds of the BJP, which was attempting to derive political mileage from the national flag."

Apology sought

Rather than finding fault with him and levelling baseless allegations, it would be appreciated if the BJP tendered an apology.

Mr. Munavalli demanded that the BJP produce nearly 50 party activists before the police for an inquiry into the complaints pertaining to dishonouring the national flag.

It was unfortunate that the BJP was extending protection to such persons, Mr. Munavalli added.

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