No end to BJP’s harassment, says Karnataka Congress president Shivakumar


PTI, Jan 15, 2022, 6:29 PM IST

Bengaluru, Jan 14 (PTI): Claiming to be targeted by the ruling BJP, Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Saturday alleged there would be no end to the harassment meted out to him in the wake of the recent Mekedatu padayatra.

Also, he hit out at the administration for booking cases against him and other Congress leaders for holding the march in violation of COVID-19 curbs. He said no such action was taken against the BJP leaders for going against the restrictions.

”Whether Mekedatu or not, they are doing all kinds of experiments on me, it’s going on. My daughter was telling me that they have started issuing notices to one of our schools — harassment, there is no end to it. We will have to live and die with it,” Shivakumar said in response to a question whether he feels that he would be targeted by the ruling BJP following the Mekedatu padayatra.

Speaking to reporters here, he said cases were booked against him and other Congress leaders everyday during the march while no such action was taken against BJP leaders, including the Chief Minister, who violated the COVID curbs.

”They may put us in jail and feel happy, that’s all. Let them…(I’m their) first aim,” he said in response to a question whether there was a conspiracy to finish him off politically.

Further asked whether attempts were on to keep him busy with income tax and ED-related cases, with elections approaching, the KPCC chief said that he would speak on the issue along with evidence in a few days.

”…not now, after some days, along with some evidence I will speak…time is approaching to inform people about it. I will place things before them, with papers,” he said.

With limited options before it amid surging COVID cases, the government prohibiting movement, and High Court observations, the Karnataka Congress on Thursday had temporarily halt its padayatra from Mekedatu to Bengaluru on its fifth day.

Police have filed four FIRs against Congress leaders, including Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah, for taking out the march defying COVID-19 curbs.

Questioning as to why cases have not been booked against BJP leaders who violated COVID curbs, Shivakumar said, ”We will not leave, we will approach the court, also write to the government, seeking booking of cases against all those who violated.” He made it clear that the Congress would target bureaucrats and police officials for not acting against BJP leaders.

Further stating that the Congress would resume its padayatra once the COVID curbs are relaxed, Shivakumar said, ”If they (govt) allow 10 people, 10 people will walk, if they allow a 100, 100 will walk…we will have to do it as we have made the commitment.” In response to another question, Shivakumar said let the government respond to activist Medha Patkar and others who have raised environmental and social concerns regarding the Mekedatu project.

”The government is there to answer them, why should I…she (Patkar) is a senior lady, we respect her, Bommai (CM Basavaraj Bommai) is the right man to answer,” he said.

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