‘Separate nation’ remark: BJP members protest outside Congress MP DK Suresh’s residence

Protesters were heard shouting slogans 'Vande Mataram', 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'down down DK Suresh' outside his residence in Bengaluru.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 04, 2024 | 1:58 PMUpdatedFeb 04, 2024 | 7:48 PM

Karnataka Congress BJP Southern State Separate Country DK Shivakumar

Several members of the BJP gathered outside the residence of Congress MP DK Suresh in Bengaluru on Sunday, 4 February, and protested against his recent statement that southern states would be forced to demand a separate nation if the “injustice” in the distribution of funds to states was not rectified by the Centre.

Protesters were heard shouting “Vande Mataram”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, and “down down DK Suresh” outside his residence in Sadashivanagar in Bengaluru.

However, the protesters were soon removed from the spot by the police and shifted into a bus, said the cops.

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

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

‘Situation is under control’

“A group of members from the BJP had gathered outside the residence of the Congress MP. They tried to stage a protest there against his statement over the demand for a separate nation for southern states. But, our officials immediately removed them from the spot and took them into custody. The situation is under control,” a senior police officer said.

Suresh, who represents the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency, had also alleged that Hindi was being “imposed” on South India in every aspect.

Reacting to the protests, Suresh remarked that in a democracy everyone has the right to protest and freedom of speech. “… I happily welcome their protests… May god bless them,” he told reporters.

He accused the BJP, however, of trying to “distort” his statement. “I never said this country has to be divided. They (BJP) are moving in that direction, they are trying to do politics,” the lone Lok Sabha member of the Congress in Karnataka clarified.

Asked why the BJP was trying to twist his statement, Suresh said, “You (media) should ask them… Media which is showing my statement has to go through it and speak. I don’t know whether it is the media’s mistake or BJP’s or mine.”

“I believe that media is the fourth estate in a democracy if you say no we are in favour of one side, I can’t do anything,” he said, adding that his statement is very clear and it is being distorted by the BJP.

Meanwhile, state BJP president BY Vijayendra said the party’s Yuva Morcha workers who were peacefully protesting outside Suresh’s residence were today subjected to unnecessary lathi charge by the police, resulting in serious injuries to the workers, and called it a Congress government inspired “goondaism”.

“The BJP will not tolerate anyone questioning the sovereignty of India,” he said in a post on social media platform X, adding that the party will not stop its protests “until he (Suresh) repents”.

On Friday, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge took a resolute stand against the controversy sparked by the remarks of Suresh on a separate nation for southern states.

The AICC chief firmly disassociated himself and the party from any talk of breaking the country, emphasising “unity from Kanyakumari to Kashmir”.

In the meantime, Shivakumar said all Congress MLAs, MLCs, and MPs from the state would protest over the unjust distribution of funds in Delhi on 7 February. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would lead the protest.

Related: DK Suresh walks back ‘separate country’ after backlash

‘Karnataka suffered loss’

Highlighting a significant financial disparity, Shivakumar asserted that Karnataka suffered a loss of ₹62,000 crore in the past five years due to what he termed the Centre’s “stepmotherly policy”.

Several Congress leaders, including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, were also found to be disassociating themselves from the Bengaluru Rural MP’s statement.

Responding to Suresh’s remarks, Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru: “India should remain united. However, the Centre has not given grants for any projects.”

Shivakumar told reporters: “I am a citizen of united India. Suresh has only mirrored the disappointment of the people about not getting a fair share of revenues. We are all children of Mother India and have to stay together. South India also needs the same priority and importance that is accorded to the Hindi states.”

He added: “Karnataka has elected 25 BJP MPs and now the number has gone up to 27. What have all the MPs done for Karnataka? Will the BJP MPs from Karnataka protest in front of Parliament at least now?”

Despite the BJP demanding an apology, Suresh told reporters in Delhi on Friday: “I stand by my words. My statements are being twisted. I am being attacked for criticising the disparity being meted out to Kannadigas.”

(With PTI inputs)