Coming down heavily on the BJP government in Karnataka in the wake of Mangalore incidents,Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury on Saturday said there was a breakdown of law and order in the state where Talibanisation is happening.
“All instruments of democracy will be used to stop such incidents, she said commenting on Friday’s kidnapping of the daughter of a Kerala MLA and her Muslim male friend from a bus in Mangalore by activists of Sri Ram Sene.
“The state government is not in control of the law and order situation. Talibanisation is happening. There is a clean communal divide where a Hindu girl is prevented from talking to a Muslim boy,it is a very dangerous trend,” the Minister said.
“There is a breakdown of law and order in Karnataka and I think we should look at it as a national security problem,” she said.
Asked why the Centre was not intervening,Chowdhury said the government is respecting the Centre-state ties but nobody should think that it is weak or cannot do anything.
“We are repeatedly warning the state government that they should take cognizance. When it is necessary we will take a step,” the Minister said.
Referring to the recent attack by Sene activists on women in a Mangalore pub,she said the issue should not be diluted by saying that it is only about pub culture.
“It is a much deeper rot. Today it is a pub,tomorrow if you are sitting in the staircase in front of your house,they will come and slap you. It is fascism,there is an attempt to spread an ideology of hatred in Karnataka,an attempt to bring a communal divide,” Chowdhury said.
Slamming the BJP-led regime,she said,”it is fascism supported by a state government that we need to be concerned about.”
Chowdhury said she will continue to pressurise the state government along with the civil society.
Voicing apprehension that similar incidents may take place on Valentine’s Day,she said,”I have no confidence on the state government. I am watching the situation to see how best to carry this forward. I am still giving a long rope to the state government. I will talk to the Chief Minister and is writing a letter to him”.
“We have various instruments of democracy to use when the situation arises,” Chowdhury warned.
“We want the state to react,if they don’t or cannot or they are helpless then according to situation we will react,” Chowdhury said when asked if the Centre can act against Karnataka government based on a report by the WCD Ministry.
“My question is who is Sri Ram Sene. Who has empowered them,what are their funding agencies,why the state government is using no law to curtail this,” Chowdhury said.
Asked on reported statement of NCW member Niramala Venkatesh that the Ministry has no power to act against her,she said,”its OK. It is not a battle between Venkatesh and Renuka Chowdhury. Please do not divert from the real issue.”
To a question about the BJP taking steps to reward Venkatesh,she said,”I cannot comment on a hypothetical situation. If they do they will only expose themselves.”
Asked if the Ministry can take action against Venkatesh,she said,”we are entitled to. We will go through the proper procedure and we are not helpless.”
She said the WCD Ministry team probing the pub attack have collected all supporting evidence and the report will be taken into cognizance.
Denying that she gave a call for a ‘pub bharo’ movement,she said the issue relates to the individual citizen’s constitutional rights.
Asked about BJP leader and TV actress Smriti Irani’s comments that she has no knowledge about Indian culture,she said,”poor Smriti must be bothered about her ticket.”