TWO DAYS after BJP MP Pratap Simha landed in controversy over a Facebook video, where he purportedly called workers of BJP Yuva Morcha to carry out violent protests in Karnataka, the MP from Mysuru-Kodagu on Wednesday accused the media and some political parties of taking a small part of his address out of context to “mislead the people”.
Simha was arrested briefly on December 3 in the communally sensitive Hunsur town of Mysuru district for attempting to violate a route map designated by the police for Hanuman Jayanti procession by BJP Yuva Morcha. The short clip of his address to BJP youth workers was posted on social media soon after the incident.
In the clip, Simha is heard telling party workers: “…(BJP president) Amit Shah has inquired about how many protests Yuva Morcha workers have staged. He has said intense agitations should be held. He has asked if the protests had led to firing of teargas or lathicharge by police. When I said we have not had such protests, he (Shah) said we should hold protests with intensity. We promised we will conduct such protests in future.”
Simha, 41, said in another Facebook video, “I had done a Facebook Live programme earlier, which was edited and a small portion of the video used by some political parties and media outlets to mislead people, saying that I used Amit Shah’s name and said some things.’’
“I had clearly stated what had happened when Amit Shah came to Bengaluru on August 11 and 12 this year, and when he asked about the activities of the Yuva Morcha, and when he asked what agitations have you staged, what pressure have you brought on the government… What Amit Shah told us was that we had not conducted enough pro-people protests against the government, and that is why we had not been at the receiving end of lathicharge or teargas shells,” Simha stated.
After the MP’s arrest in Hunsur, the ruling Congress in Karnataka claimed that Simha staged the protests on Sunday to please Amit Shah — as per “evidence” in his video message to the party’s youth workers — and not for any public purpose.
Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “The BJP is bent upon fomenting trouble because elections are round the corner in Karnataka. Pratap Simha admits that he is doing all this because BJP president Amit Shah asked BJP leaders how many lathicharges and teargas shellings they had triggered through their protests against the state government.”
BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said that Shah had “only directed party members to take up public issues strongly through protests”.