Karnataka polls: Congress files complaint over ‘riots in Karnataka’ remark by Amit Shah in election speech

It alleged that Shah made false statements aimed at tarnishing the image of the Congress by levelling false and unfounded allegations.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 27, 2023 | 6:45 PM Updated Apr 27, 2023 | 6:47 PM

Congress leaders handing over the complaint. (Twitter)

Congress leaders on Thursday, 27 April, complained to the police against Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his alleged statement that if their party won the upcoming elections, Karnataka would be “afflicted with riots”.

They claimed he said it with the clear intent of disrupting the communal harmony in the state.

The Congress also requested the police that an “urgent and immediate” FIR be lodged against the former BJP chief and others for the “offences”.

The complaint was submitted by AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, state Congress president DK Shivakumar and former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara to the Station House Officer (SHO) of the  High Grounds Police Station in Bengaluru.

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‘Shah aimed to tarnish Congress’ image’

The Congress alleged that on Tuesday, while addressing a gathering in the Vijayapura district of the state, Shah made flagrantly false statements aimed at tarnishing the image of the party by levelling false and unfounded allegations, with a clear objective of trying to create an atmosphere of communal disharmony amongst the gathered crowd and the individuals viewing it on other media platforms.

Along with Shah, BJP leaders and the organisers of the rally have also been mentioned by the Congress in its complaint.

The complaint alleged that Shah knowingly raised several false and communal allegations against the Congress and its senior leaders with the clear intent of disrupting the communal harmony maintained in the entire state.

The complainants highlighted a few of his alleged “false, malicious and dangerous” claims.

Among Shah’s statements quoted by the Congress leaders in their complaint as being false was: “Siddaramaiah, former chief minister, had released all PFI workers who had earlier been kept in custody, and it was the BJP government who later had to locate and jail them again. Congress has given an election promise that if it is elected to form the Government in Karnataka, then it shall lift the ban issued against PFI.”

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‘Punishable under IPC’

More worryingly coming from the Union home minister himself, they said, was the statement that if the Congress won the upcoming elections, then the entire state of Karnataka would be “afflicted with communal riots”.

According to the complaint, Shah’s statements were designed to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, and were thereby punishable under Section 505 of the IPC (promoting enmity) and other provisions of the IPC.

The statements also indirectly threaten and try to mislead electors into voting for a particular political party and candidate, thereby being punishable under Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, the Congress’ complaint said.