BJP leader KS Eshwarappa seeks law to “shoot down traitors”

The BJP leader was addressing the public in Davanagere, where the new BJP district president and other office bearers were being sworn in.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 09, 2024 | 6:24 PMUpdatedFeb 09, 2024 | 6:24 PM

BJP leader KS Eshwarappa

Senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa, on Friday, 9 February, called Congress leaders Bengaluru Rural MP DK Suresh and Dharwad MLA Vinay Kulkarni “traitors” and called for a law to shoot and kill them.

Eshwarappa made the statements over the “separate country” row. Congress MP DK Suresh, on 1 February, said the Southern states would be compelled to demand a separate country owing to the fiscal injustice done by the Union government.

Suresh is the younger brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president DK Shivakumar.

The BJP leader was addressing the public in Davanagere, where the new BJP district president and other office bearers were being sworn in.

Also Read: Kharge disassociates party from ‘separate country’ remarks

What did Eshwarappa say?

Eshwarappa advocated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should enact a law against those “traitors” with intentions to divide the country.

He said, “If they try to convey such statements again, through these public meetings, I would like to communicate to Narendra Modi ji that DK Suresh and Vinay Kulkarni are traitors to this country.”

He added, “They seemingly desire to divide the nation into pieces. I suggest enacting a law where they can be shot and killed.”

The veteran leader had retired from electoral politics in April 2023, ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections. In his statement, the former deputy chief minister had said his decision was out of his own will.

Following DK Suresh’s statement on 1 February, the BJP’s Karnataka unit hit back, saying that the Congress was hatching a plan to partition India again.

“Congress is now hatching a dangerous plot to partition India yet again. Faced with constant rejection by Indians, Congress is now seeding secessionism,” it said on X.

In a post on X, Opposition leader R Ashoka said, “On one hand, Rahul Gandhi (Wayanad MP) is doing #BharatJodoNyayYatra, on the other hand, Congress MP and KPCC Chief DK Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh calls for Bharat Todo.”

Also Read: Karnataka Congress MP DK Suresh walks back ‘separate country’ after backlash

DK Suresh’s statements

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament in New Delhi after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s interim Budget presentation on 1 February, Suresh said the Southern states were being subjected to injustice.

“We are witnessing it in every sector. We are witnessing our share (of GST and direct taxes) being provided to the North Indian states,” he said.

Suresh reiterated that the Centre has been meting out injustice at every stage to the southern states.

“If we won’t condemn this in the coming days, we will be compelled to demand a separate country (for southern states). I believe that the people from the Hindi region are imposing themselves on us,” Suresh added.

Suresh later, following backlash defended his statement. He said in a post on X, “A Proud Indian & proud Kannadiga. It is my responsibility to raise my voice against the injustice being done to southern states especially Karnataka. [sic]”

He added, “Everyone has the tight to question the step-motherly attitude of the Central Government towards the State. [sic]”

He also said: “I have said that if this injustice continues like this, the cry of separation has already come everywhere. BJP is very good at twisting my statements. [sic]”

Pointing out the distribution of finances, he said, “Our states’ money is being given more to the northern states.” He added that Hindi was being imposed in the South.

He added, “If we question the central government, we are ‘separatists’. Be it Mekedatu, Mahadayi, drought relief, central BJP government has not responded to any of our problems till now. [sic]”