Another Attack On BJP Workers In Karnataka, Party Blames Congress

The workers who were attacked were turning from a programme where Amit Shah was present.

New Delhi:  A group of BJP workers returning from an event addressed by party president Amit Shah in Karnataka, was attacked, allegedly by Congress workers. Sharing the images of the injured workers, the party said they had been attacked on Tuesday. The BJP has been alleging that its workers are routinely targetted by members of the state’s ruling Congress and so far over 20 members of party and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have been killed.

For men were injured in the attack, the party said, and a police case has been filed.

Leader of the opposition and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the attacks on BJP workers have been continuing in Karnataka.

“More than 26 activists have already died. Yesterday also, there was a murderous attack on BJP workers,” Mr Shettar said. Alleging that there was a “Goonda raj” in Karnataka, he said he was warning the state government. “Every day, we are discussing in the assembly about a failure of law and order and Congress goondaism,” he said.

The BJP – which is hoping to wrest power from the Congress in Karnataka — has pitched law and order as one of the key issues in the coming assembly elections in the state. It has been flagged repeatedly in election rallies by its star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke of the “ease of doing murder” in the state earlier this month.

Amit Shah, who was on a two-day visit of the state, highlighted it by visiting the family of one of the party’s murdered workers. Karnataka, he said, need good governance, not Goonda governance, he said. He also linked the recent assault of a young man at an upscale restaurant in Bengaluru, allegedly by the son of Congress lawmaker NA Haris, to “appeasement politics”. Asking why a police case was not filed against the accused youth Congress leader, he said it was “not only because he’s Haris’s son but because it involves appeasement and vote bank politics”.  An FIR has actually been filed in the case and the police have added an additional charge of attempt to murder.

Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy has questioned the validity of the BJP claims, saying the police will be asked to investigate whether the attack on the BJP workers was carried out by the Congress or it was a BJP claim for “publicity and the forthcoming elections”.

Mr Shah, the minister said, had contradicted himself, claiming at one point that the man targetted at the restaurant, Vidvat, was a BJP activist. “After some time he (Amit Shah) said, ‘just for political reasons I told like that. He is not at all our party worker’. We can’t believe these BJP statements,” he added.

“What about Haris’s son? What about Narayanaswamy who wanted to burn an entire government office? Is goondaism by Haris’s son created by BJP?” asked Mr Shettar.

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