Following reports of Karnataka BJP leaders allegedly attending a programme in Bengaluru organised by “rowdies” who the police said were absconding, the Congress has mounted a sharp attack on the ruling party in the state by launching a website called “BJP Rowdy Morcha”. The BJP has hit back by listing the names of Congress leaders with “alleged criminal history”.
Unveiling http://www.bjprowdymorcha.com on Saturday, the Congress said, “With the skeletons tumbling out of the cupboard of the BJP in the last days, the Indian National Congress has upped the ante by dedicating an entire website to showcase the improprieties of the BJP in the run-up to the 2023 elections.”
Saying that the “BJP has taken away the morale of the police who are conducting operations against the rowdies”, the state Congress tweeted in Kannada: “Earlier, if they saw rowdies, the police would kick them and drag them away. Now due to BJP’s rowdy politics, the same rowdies are being saluted by the police. Today’s rowdies are the next BJP leaders.”
The BJP reacted by putting out a list of Congress with an “alleged criminal history”.
In a series of tweets in Kannada, the BJP said the Congress state president D K Shivakumar “was an aide of a notorious rowdy” and that the Karnataka Youth Congress president Mohammed Harris Nalapad was a “rowdy”.
In another tweet, it said, “Why is Congress, which is vocal about rowdies, silent on the notorious murder accused Vinay Kulkarni (former minister)? Is Congress afraid of its life? Is it afraid of an assault by Nalapad? Do you remember Deputy Superintendent Ganapathy who said, ‘KJ George (former minister) is responsible for my death?’ Not only this, there are dacoits in Congress too.”
The BJP went on to say, “The great leader who is caring and encouraging all rowdies of Bengaluru is Ramalinga Reddy (former minister). The entire world knows that he wins every election with help from rowdies. Media has exposed Reddy Saheb’s link with Rowdy Naga.”
“Speeches on rowdy elements (in the BJP) by Congress, which is filled with rowdies, thieves, murderers, dacoits and the corruption has as much significance as Al-Qaeda preaching peace,” it added.
Using the hashtag “Rowdy Congress”, the BJP put out a similar set of tweets on Sunday.
The controversy comes in the wake of a recent blood donation camp where BJP MPs Tejasvi Surya and PC Mohan were felicitated along with the BJP MLA for the Chickpet region by a “rowdy sheeter” known as Silent Sunil. The alleged gangster was reported as absconding by the city police recently even as videos of his presence at a blood donation event with BJP leaders emerged on November 28.
This led the Congress to question the ethics of the BJP. “The BJP earlier had an association with white-collar rowdies. Now they are associating with real rowdies. In the future, even Dawood Ibrahim may join the party to redeem himself. The BJP has become a place of shelter for all kinds of criminals,” the Congress said on social media as the row erupted. It added, “Wanted criminals are now wanted by the BJP.”
In response, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he was unaware of the details and advised the Congress to introspect on its own actions.
(With inputs from PTI)