The BJP government in Karnataka intends to root out the drug mafia in the state and will not go soft on it, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s son and state BJP vice-president B Y Vijayendra said Wednesday. Vijayendra’s comments came after two top Kannada actors associated with politicians — Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani — were arrested as part of police investigations into the drug mafia. Dwivedi had campaigned for the BJP in the two of the 15 seats that went to bypolls in December 2019, including the K R Pet constituency — an election directly supervised by Vijayendra.
Since Dwivedi’s arrest, former chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has claimed his coalition government with the Congress was ousted using drug and cricket betting money.
At a media interaction Wednesday in south Karnataka’s Chamarajnagar region, Vijayendra said, “There is no question of protecting anyone in the drug case or going soft on anyone… The BJP government headed by CM Yediyurappa, and the home minister, have taken a firm decision to root out the drug mafia.
“The stand of the BJP is very clear — we want to make Karnataka a drug free state. The BJP will support all efforts to root out the drug mafia. Not just the BJP but the common man in the state must also support the efforts to root out the drug mafia,” he said.
Speaking about Dwivedi’s arrest, Vijayendra said she was not being supported by him or the BJP.
“We respect everyone in the film world. Sometimes during elections, film stars associate themselves with multiple parties. In one election itself they sometimes campaign for multiple parties. Just because an actor was involved during the bypolls… they are not associated with the party. The party will not tolerate this. I want to make it clear that the actor is not being supported in any way,” he said.
Investigations of the alleged drug mafia — especially in the Kannada film world, with which top politicians in Karnataka are closely associated, including Kumaraswamy and Vijayendra — has dragged some other politicians into controversy as well.
Former Congress minister and Bengaluru legislator B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan has filed a police complaint over his name being associated with Galrani and has denied any association with the actor.
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