January 29, 2009 4:20:51 pm
In remarks that may ruffle some feathers,Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said that he would not allow growth of “pub culture” in the state but made it clear that people taking law into their hands will be dealt with firmly.
More chief ministers on Thursday joined the debate on pub culture with Karnataka’s B S Yeddyurappa opposing it while Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan seeking to distance himself from the Mangalore incident.
Condemning the attack on women allegedly by Sri Ram Sene in a Mangalore pub,Dikshit said that liquor shops should be opened in areas which were not near schools and places of worship. “I also believe that children who go to these places with the knowledge of their parents are mature enough to handle themselves,” she said.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday had kicked up a storm when he slammed ‘pub culture’ and said he was ‘against boys and girls walking hand in hand in pubs and malls.’.
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Meanwhile,Yeddyurappa said that he will discuss the issue of banning Sri Ram Sene,the outfit accused in the pub attack case,in the state cabinet.
“We won’t allow this pub culture in Karnataka to grow. But on the other hand,those who take law in their hand will be dealt with very firmly,” he told TV channels.
His remarks came even as Sene chief and an accused in the pub case Pramod Muthalik reminded the BJP that they formed the government in Karnataka on the Hindutva plank and asked the party not to sacrifice Hindu organisations for the sake of expediency.
Yeddyurappa claimed that Sene has no connection with BJP. “That’s an individual organisation,” he said.
Replying to a question on the issue of banning Sene,he said,”we will discuss it with the police officers and I will discuss it with the cabinet.”
The police,he said,were also exploring the possibility of invoking the stringent Goonda Act against the pub case accused.
“Anyhow,we are not going to allow such incidents to happen again in the state. Nobody should take law into their hands and it is a very unfortunate incident. That is why I have taken immediate action and the situation is under control,” he said.
Replying to questions on Sene,Yeddyurrapa,at the same time,said “by just banning any organisation,this problem will not be solved. We will wait for a few more days. We will watch their activities. Suitable action will be taken at an appropriate time”.
Noting that so far the state authorities have arrested 33 people including Muthalik,he said,”From the government’s side,we have taken action and we will take strong action against anti-social elements irrespective of their religious or political affiliations”.
Attacking the opposition for its accusations against his government in the wake of the pub case,he said “there has been conspiracies going on. It is known to everybody. I don’t want to name anybody”.
He alleged that the opposition parties “were not able to digest the growing popularity of our government in the first eight months in office.”
Defending the “proven track records” of BJP governments in promoting the culture of tolerance,he said his administration stood for peaceful coexistence in the state.
“However,some anti-social elements are trying to malign my government’s image but they will not succeed. My government will uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution and the rule of law,” he said.
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