In open letter, HD Kumaraswamy urges BJP and Congress to shun ‘petty politics’ over Bengaluru violence

Accusing BJP and Congress of indulging in “mudslinging” over recent violence in the city, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Friday said that both the national parties stand exposed before the people, as he urged them to leave ‘petty politics’.

In an “open letter” to Congress and BJP, the former Chief Minister has questioned both the parties regarding their conduct in connection with the incident.

“DJ Halli riots are a Law and Order issue. The incident should have been investigated and the guilty should have been punished. Any responsible government and the party in power should have learnt lessons from the incident and initiated preventive steps to avoid recurrence of similar events,” Kumaraswamy said.

Instead, both national political parties have used it to indulge in “mudslinging”, he said.

This way, the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress stand exposed by losing both leadership and the confidence in the minds of the people.

Accusing both parties of looking out for ‘political polarisation’ from every incident, he asked them to answer some of his questions, while urging them to “leave petty politics”.

Political slugfest is currently on between both parties over the 11 August riots, with Ministers in the BJP government citing investigation so far alleging that local political differences within the Congress and SDPI’s larger conspiracy to disturb law and order were among the major reasons for the

While Congress has charged the BJP with using power to fix its leaders and workers in the incident, to ‘cover up’ its failure in handling the riots.

Pointing out that Congress alleges that there was a political conspiracy behind the riots, Kumaraswamy asked, “Is this conspiracy being from within the party or outside? or ticket aspirants? Does the Congress have the courage to make public these secrets? Do at times, leaders who came from other parties become unpalatable for the Congress?”

Also suggesting that whenever there is a discussion on banning SDPI, the Congress becomes over-reactive and challenges those in power to ban, he asked Congress to explain what is the benefit that they are going to get by banning or not banning it.

Terming the DJ Halli incident as the ‘biggest law and order failure’ on the part of the government, home department and the intelligence, while turning towards the BJP, Kumaraswamy said the government which should have owned the responsibility has absolutely become “irresponsible”.

“Is any action initiated against any home department official in connection with this incident? Instead, the BJP has gone one step ahead conspiring for a political polarisation. BJP, Aren’t you shameless?” he asked.

Asking as to why BJP which is blaming Congress is not initiating action, despite being in power, the JD(S) leader said, the government has become so weak and powerless that it couldn’t even ensure safety of the MLA who won with a huge majority.

“How can this powerless government protect the interests of the ordinary people?…. If they cannot, what is the point of such a government in power? Or did the BJP want such riots during the BBMP elections?” he questioned.

The violence in DJ Halli and adjoining areas on 11 August night was unleashed by hundreds of people over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by P Naveen, a relative of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The MLAs residence and a police station at DJ Halli were torched by rioters who also set many police and private vehicles afire, and looted the belongings of the legislator and his sister.

Murthy who was in JD(S) had jumped ship to Congress ahead of 2018 Assembly polls and won election.

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