Issue of alleged raising of pro-Pak slogans rocks Karnataka Assembly, BJP demands Govt’s resignation


PTI, Feb 28, 2024, 5:05 PM IST

Representative image (Source: ANI)

Bengaluru: Supporters of Congress member Syed Naseer Hussain, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha, allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans, rocked the proceedings of Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, forcing repeated disruptions.

Opposition BJP staged a protest from the well of the House, demanding the Congress government’s resignation for its ”inaction” in nabbing the culprits who shouted the ”Pakistan zindabad” slogans, and accused it of trying to shield those behind it, which was met with strong rebuttal from the ruling side.

Replying to a discussion on the issue in the Assembly, Home Minister G Parameshwara said an investigation is underway and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report is awaited to know about the veracity of the video in connection with the alleged incident.

He also asserted the government will not spare anyone who is involved, if the incident is true, and the guilty will be punished in accordance with law.

Hussain’s supporters allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, while celebrating his victory in the Rajya Sabha polls on Tuesday. A purported video of the incident was telecast by TV news channels and it also had gone viral on social media.

”This incident shouldn’t have happened. There are two versions about the incident in the media. While a few have said that ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans were raised, others said they did not hear such slogans being raised. The police have registered a suo moto case at 6 pm yesterday and are investigating; also BJP’s complaint has been added to the FIR,” Parameshwara said.

There is a need to know ”scientifically” whether such slogans were raised, he said. ”If such slogans were raised, at no cost the government will forgo it, and will ensure that the person involved is punished in accordance with law”.

”If it is proved in the FSL report that ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans were raised, we will not spare that person even for a second. Merciless action will be taken and there is no need for the government to protect anyone, whoever it may be,” he said, adding that anyone raising the ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan in the state in the future too, will be strictly punished.

Parameshwara said he had instructed that other than legislators, only those with passes be allowed inside Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday, the day of polls, but some supporters of Hussain had come inside after the results were declared and the latter had taken permission for 25 people. ”It was wrong, they should not have been allowed.”

Congress need not take lessons on patriotism from anyone as it was in their blood, he said, while hitting back at BJP.

Not satisfied with the Home Minister’s statement, Ashoka said despite having all the ”evidence and videos”, the government is still not ready to accept that the slogans were raised and no arrests have been made.

No one has even been called by police for an inquiry, he said, adding, this shows that the police and the government are under pressure to protect someone and are afraid to take action.

Ashoka also questioned the seriousness of the government noting that no minister held any meeting or visited the spot following the incident, as he alleged appeasement politics on part of the Congress party.

”This (Vidhana Soudha) is the heart of seven crore people of Karnataka, the sanctity of this place has been polluted with pro-Pakistan slogans. If we are not able to take action against those who shouted such a slogan, it is as good as dead…this government has no right to continue in power even for a moment. I demand this government’s resignation. It is the matter of the country, the Constitution and law and order,” he said.

Ashoka pointed out that when reporters questioned Hussain about the pro-Pakistan slogans, the latter, instead of condemning it and assuring action against those involved, told ”get out (to media)”

Not all media, who have reported about the pro-Pakistan slogan being raised can distort facts, he said, as he asked the government to book cases against the media if they have distorted facts and also the opposition leaders, including him, who have spoken against Congress and its candidate Hussain.

”The Congress should have suspended him (Hussain). What would be the situation if such people go to Rajya Sabha,” he further said.

The slogans were not raised just at the inside Vidhana Soudha, but also outside the building and even at the parking lot. Ashoka said it can be seen in the video that a Congress worker from Rajajinagar shutting the mouth of another person, who allegedly shouted the slogan.

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