Congress alleges ‘goondaraj’ in Karnataka, calls for mass stir after Siddaramaiah car attacked

The attack by BJP workers in Kodagu came days after Siddaramaiah spoke against putting up a poster of Hindutva icon VD Savarkar.

BySaurav Kumar

Published Aug 19, 2022 | 11:56 AMUpdatedAug 19, 2022 | 1:04 PM


The Congress in Karnataka is fuming after eggs were thrown at the car of the Leader of the Opposition and its Legislature Party chief Siddaramaiah.

The BJP’s Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers gheraoed Siddaramaiah in the Kodagu district on Thursday, 18 August, and tried to barge into his car with black flags and slogans of “Go Back Siddaramaiah”, but were restrained by the police and then detained.

The cops also thwarted an attempt by the BJP workers to pelt stones at Siddaramaiah’s car.

The incident took place at Thithiamati and Madikeri during his visit to Kodagu to review flood-affected regions.

The protestors also threw photos of VD Savarkar at the former chief minister before being detained by the police.

The agitation against Siddaramaiah’s visit to Kodagu had been planned beforehand, with right-wing social cliques and WhatsApp groups buzzing with messages against him. The heckling of Siddaramaiah was the culmination of those plans.

Siddaramaiah calls for protest

After the incident, the former chief minister came down heavily on the state government.

Posters by BJP Kodagu unit against Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (Supplied)

Posters by BJP Kodagu unit against Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (Supplied)

Siddaramaiah told reporters, “What do you think? Have you left RSS workers on the street to do whatever they want? We will come to power again after a few months. You don’t know how to give protection to the leader of the Opposition.”

A fuming Siddaramaiah also called for a massive agitation against the “goondaraj” in Karnataka.

The Congress has planned a large-scale protest outside the Superintendent of Police’s office in Kodagu on 26 August.

The attack on the Congress leader came days after he spoke against putting up a poster of VD Savarkar.

He said, “It was unnecessary to put up Savarkar’s pictures in Muslim-dominated areas, which could only provoke and aggravate the existing tension.”

He also tweeted against the state government eulogising Savarkar to create communal fissures.

For the past few days, Siddaramaiah has been relentlessly attacking the state government on issues of communal harmony.

The whole of the Congress, including KPCC president DK Shivakumar, came out in Siddaramaiah’s support, lashing out at the state government and the police.

Chief Minister Bommai condemns attack

BJP and right wing outfit protestors gherao Siddaramaiah's car in Kodagu. (Video grab: Supplied)

BJP and right wing outfit protestors gherao Siddaramaiah’s car in Kodagu. (Video grab: Supplied)

The attack on Siddaramaiah’s car led to severe criticism of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

After coming under fire for the attack, Bommai appealed against physical violence.

He tweeted about the incident, expressing concern.

He wrote that Siddaramaiah was the leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, and had his own dignity.

If there is a difference of opinion on any matter, it should be countered with an opinion and not by physical actions, he added.

Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) state president Abdul Majid also batted for Siddaramaiah.

He said, “I strongly condemn Siddaramaiah being gheraoed by RSS-BJP goons. It is an utter failure of the police department, and the Home Ministry must apologise in public. I demand action.”

The SDPI is considered the political wing of the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India.

Janata Dal (Secular) leaders also condemned the incident.

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra told reporters he has asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to provide adequate security for the former chief minister.

He also denied allegations of law-and-order problems in the state.