The BJP on Wednesday accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of trying to make “political capital” out of journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder and rejected as “irresponsible and baseless” the allegations linking the killing to the people following its ideology. The saffron party also asked the Karnataka government to arrest the murderers swiftly and wondered if the SIT constituted by it will meet the same fate as the one probing the August 2016 murder of rationalist M M Kalburgi, whose killers remain untraced.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari termed as “irresponsible, baseless and false” the allegations linking the killing of journalist Lankesh to the BJP or people following its ideology. Slamming the statements of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul, he said levelling “untrue” allegations against the BJP and the prime minister is injustice to his party and detrimental to democracy.
“The government, the BJP or any of its organisations have no connection with the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh,” he told reporters. Another Union minister Ananth Kumar asked the Congress government in Karnataka to swiftly probe the journalist’s murder in Bengaluru and arrest the guilty.
Attacking the Siddaramaiah government for the state’s “poor” law and order situation, he said there had been 18-19 political killings besides Kalburgi’s murder in the last last two and a half years and it had “failed” in taking probes to their logical conclusion. Hitting out at the Congress vice president, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said he was trying to make political capital out of Lankesh’s murder, which he termed as an act of mindless violence.
Taking a dig, he said, “Rahul Gandhi must realise that the track record of his party’s government in Karnataka on law and order is as dismal and pathetic as his political record. He will do well to concentrate on these shortcomings rather than making frivolous comments.” Rao noted that the Karnataka police has not made any arrest in Kalburgi’s murder so far.
In his comments, Rahul Gandhi had said anybody who spoke against the ideology of the BJP and RSS was “pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed”. Lankesh was an outspoken critic of Hindutva politics. She was shot dead yesterday by unidentified gunmen outside her residence in Bengaluru.