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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Karnataka slugfest: After clash on stage, Shivakumar says ‘BJP leaders gave material on Bitcoin scam’

Shivakumar also alleged that the BJP leaders were behind the contractors commission scandal in the state.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 4, 2022 7:06:01 pm
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K ShivakumarKarnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D K Shivakumar. (File)

Reacting to the clash between Congress MP DK Suresh and BJP minister C N Ashwath Narayan that took place in Ramanagara a day before, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar Tuesday said: “They (BJP leaders) provided all materials on the Bitcoin scam and many other scams to us.” Suresh is Shivakumar’s brother.

The Congress leader’s grave charges against BJP leaders come amid rumours of leadership change in the BJP and the alleged Bitcoin scam.

Shivakumar, too, alleged that the BJP leaders, including Ashwath Narayan, are trying to topple the Basavaraj Bommai government in the same manner as former chief minister BS Yediyurappa was made to resign. “Now they are after Basavaraj Bommai. It is the BJP leaders who provided with all materials on the Bitcoin scam and many other scams. I know what Ashwath Narayan did and will come out with details at the right time.”

Shivakumar also alleged that the BJP leaders were behind the contractors commission scandal in the state.

On Monday, Narayan and Suresh entered into an altercation on stage in front of CM Basavaraj Bommai in Karnataka’s Ramanagara district. The incident caught on camera happened at a public event organised to unveil the statues of Dr B R Ambedkar and Bengaluru founder Nadaprabu Kempegowda, Bangalore Rural MP DK Suresh objected to Karnataka IT and Higher Education Minister Ashwath Narayan’s speech mocking him and the Congress.

He confronted the minister on the stage and the duo almost came to blows in public view. Suresh had to be dragged back by the security personnel and the latter sat down on the stage in protest against Narayan.

Shivakumar said “the minister was free to make any kind of speeches in their own party platform. But when a Chief Minister attends an official function, it should be conducted in a dignified manner, with decorum. The ruling BJP has been trying to unseat the present chief minister. Insulting a Chief Minister at a function is a crime and an insult to people”.

The clash between two elected representatives started when Congress workers in the audience jeered at Ashwath Narayan. An irate minister retorted: “Who is that man? Show your work. We’re here to bring development to the people of Ramanagara. Not like others, who will lay the foundation but will not complete the projects.”

Enraged by this, Suresh went up to Narayan and the two came face-to-face. Congress leader and Bangalore Rural MLC S Ravi joined the ruckus and tried to snatch the microphone from Narayan. The police and other security personnel intervened to calm things down.

In Ramanagara district, which is 60 km away from the state’s capital Bengaluru, Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress are the main parties while the BJP is trying to make inroads into the region where the Vokkaligas are the predominant community. DK Suresh and his brother DK Shivakumar, who hail from the district, belong to the Vokkaliga community. Ashwath Narayan is the district incharge minister for the BJP is also from the same community.

But JD(S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his family are also considered powerful among the Vokkaliga community in Ramanagara which falls in the Old Mysore Region.

The BJP Karnataka has sharply reacted to the incidents with a series of tweets after the incident and even called the DK brothers (DK Shivakumar and DK Suresh) “Kanakapura Rowdy brothers”. Both brothers hail from Kanakapurataluk in Ramanagara district and Shivakumar represents the constituency in the state legislative Assembly.

The BJP state unit accused the brothers of stealing sandalwood in the past and now threatening the government. “The DK brothers have criminal cases filed by the Forest Department that show their history, ” the BJP tweeted.

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