The ruling Congress and Opposition BJP have got down to a ‘helpline war’ against each other, each side suspecting the other of either targeting party workers or fomenting communal tension in society.
Industries Minister MB Patil on Monday urged chief minister Siddaramaiah, deputy CM DK Shivakumar, Home Minister G Parameshwara and Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister Priyank Kharge to consider setting up a new helpline called ‘Peaceful Karnataka’ to track down and check instances of people spreading communal hatred. “Our agenda is only development & progress, and to protect Brand Karnataka,” Patil said in a tweet.
His request to his Cabinet colleagues followed the Opposition BJP announcing a helpline to fight police cases registered by the Congress regime on party workers just `to harass them.’
Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya told the media over the weekend that the Congress regime had resorted to misusing its power to register false cases against BJP workers. The party was gearing up to fight such cases in courts of law, he said.
The BJP is preparing to launch the helpline in about a week which will work round the clock and be available to party workers, the party said.
The BJP’s team of advocates will represent party workers at police stations and in courts and protect them from harassment, Surya said. The BJP legal cell will take the help of senior advocates if needed, he added.
Earlier in the day, minister Patil came under attack from the former BJP minister Kota Srinivasa Poojary and Surya for his “threats” to send Yuva Brigade founder Chakraverty Sulibele to jail. These threats, Surya alleged, marked the striking feature of the Siddaramaiah regime. “We will fight the misuse of power both legally and outside.”