Monday, October 2, 2023

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“RSS, BJP Attacking Democracy…” Rahul Gandhi In Poll-Bound Karnataka


Addressing a public meeting in poll-bound Karnataka’s Bhalki, Rahul Gandhi said, “In India, if someone spoke of democracy for the first time and showed the path to it, it was Basavanna ji. Sadly, today people of RSS and BJP are attacking democracy.

The thinking of Basavanna ji of participation by all, a place for all and that everyone should go ahead together is being attacked by BJP and RSS. They are spreading hatred and violence in India.” Rahul further alleged the BJP runs a government of 40 per cent commission in Karnataka.

“You know the BJP very well in Karnataka. I did not coin the slogan of ’40 per cent Commission government’, it was coined by you – the people of Karnataka,” he stated.
Rahul Gandhi also accused BJP of neglecting the OBC community.

“If we want to take OBC in the country forward and give them their rights, the first step would be for the Prime Minister to release data of the OBC census. The PM will never do this as he does not want the welfare of OBC. Congress will do this as soon as we get the opportunity…,” he said.

Notably, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the decennial Census that should have been conducted in 2021 be done right away, and a Caste Census be made an integral part.

Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar joined Congress on Monday quitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Assembly elections in the State.
Shettar arrived at the Congress office in Bengaluru this morning.

His induction to the party took place in the presence of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Karnataka state Congress president DK Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Siddaramaiah.

After joining Congress, Shettar said, “Yesterday I left BJP and today I joined the Congress party. Many are surprised as an opposition leader, former CM and party president is joining Congress. BJP has given me every position and being a party worker I always worked for the party’s growth.”

“I thought being a senior leader, I will get the ticket, but when I came to know that I am not getting it, I was shocked. No one spoke to me nor tried to convince me, not even gave assurance about what position will I get,” he stated.

Shettar further said, “I was contacted by DK Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, Surjewala and MB Patil. When they invited me I came without any other option. I am joining Congress wholeheartedly.”

Senior BJP leader Amar Singh Patil also joined Congress along with Shettar. Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah alleged Bharatiya Janata Party disrespected the Lingayat community.

“Lingayat community is a big community in Karnataka, they (BJP) accept BS Yediyurappa as their leader, and Jagadish Shettar was always in the second position. They also disrespected Yediyurappa by bringing him down from the CM post, which is why he cried when he resigned,” said Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

He said despite coming from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shettar is a ‘secular’ person.

“I welcome former chief minister Jagadish Shettar to our party. He is known as a decent politician in Karnataka. Though he is from RSS, he is a secular person. I worked with him as the opposition leader and he was the opposition leader when I was CM. He was an honest party worker in BJP and always stood with the party, not for personal gain,” added Siddaramaiah.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar said several MPs want to join Congress. “Former Chief Minister, former Deputy Chief Minister and others including many MPs unconditionally want to join Congress. I welcome all of them,” Shivakumar said.

Shivakumar gave the ‘B’ form to Jagadish Shettar, ahead of his nomination filing for the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Shettar, a six-time MLA from the constituency, was reportedly advised by the party to stand down and not seek a fresh term as MLA from the Hubli-Dharwad Central segment, following which his followers expressed their anguish against the party’s high command.

On Saturday after announcing his resignation Jagadish Shettar also mentioned that there was a conspiracy against him, which is why he was denied a ticket.

After being left out from the BJP’s candidate lists, Shettar had issued an ultimatum to the party, saying he would consider his future political course if denied a ticket from his preferred segment.

The Karnataka assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with the counting of votes scheduled on May 13.

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