Following the outrage and protests among party workers over the murder of BJP youth worker Praveen Nettaru, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday that he is ready to take action on the lines of the “Yogi model”, if the situation demands it.
“For the situation in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi (Adityanath) is the right chief minister. Similarly, there are different methods to deal with the situation in Karnataka and all of them are being used. If the situation demands, the Yogi model government will come to Karnataka too,” Bommai said.
The chief minister was responding to a question on demands by a section of BJP and Sangh Parivar supporters, who have slammed the Bommai government for failing to protect the lives of its party workers in the state, for a ‘Yogi model’ of governance in Karnataka.
According to them, the ‘Yogi model’ refers to strong measures reportedly taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to control ‘anti-national’ activities in the state, like the use of bulldozers. Some social media posts by BJP workers also referred to the gangster Vikas Dubey encounter by the UP police and urged Bommai to replicate the same in Karnataka.
Nettaru, a 32-year-old Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha worker, was hacked to death while he was closing his poultry shop on Tuesday night. Following his murder, several BJP workers had expressed their anger at the government and party leaders by targeting the vehicle of its state president and submitting their resignations.
Activists and locals heckle @BJP4Karnataka president @nalinkateel @karkalasunil following to the murder of #PraveenNettaru in Dakshina Kannada district. They booed at the leaders and also raised slogans against #BJP @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/QDey9jWJUt
— Kiran Parashar (@KiranParashar21) July 27, 2022
As he completed one year in office on Thursday, the chief minister, who was forced to cancel anniversary celebrations, gave a 100/100 score for his government’s performance.
Bommai said that the government will come up with a special commando unit, apart from the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Internal Security Division (ISD), to deal with anti-national elements and their activities.
Considered an ‘outsider’, Bommai has tried to burnish his Hindutva credentials. His government has been criticised for being quick to act on cases of attacks on Hindutva activists, while dragging its feet on attacks on Dalits, minorities and other backward groups.
Stating that there are certain challenges before the government with respect to maintaining communal harmony and in eliminating forces that want to disturb it, Bommai said this challenge exists in states across the country and such forces have raised their heads in Karnataka in the last 10 years.
“Their activities mainly began in the state in 2014-15 and have continued till now. Our police officers have managed to identify ‘sleeper cells’ and those involved in such activities or those who give support to such elements have been sent to jail with the help of the NIA (National Investigation Agency),” he said, pointing out that various such arrests have taken place recently.
Asked whether the work done by his government was overshadowed by communal issues and a growing feeling among some sections regarding the alleged inaction in tackling the issue, the chief minister pointed to certain quick and strong measures taken in the past and said similar measures will follow in this case too.
He also said his government has efficiently dealt with communally sensitive issues and challenges in the past and added that the state has been marching on the path of development.
To a question regarding banning organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Bommai said it has to be done by the central government. When the state governments attempted to do it in the past, it was stayed by the courts, he said.
“We have sent the reports and evidence necessary for banning such organisations to the Centre. The process has begun, and at the earliest, you will hear a decision on this from the Centre. The ban has to be done across the country,” he said.