Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has written an open letter, coming down heavily on both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress, alleging that they were “politicising” the violence at D.J. Halli in Bengaluru on August 11.
Terming the incident the “biggest law and order failure”, he asked if any responsibility had been fixed on any official so far by the BJP government. “Instead the party [BJP] has gone one step ahead and is conspiring to use it for political polarisation,” he said, terming this “shameless.”
He pointed out that while some BJP leaders have alleged that Congress leaders had engineered the riots and even claimed that goons from a neighbouring State were brought in to indulge in violence, he questioned why the party had not submitted any relevant evidence to the police if it was so. “If there was no evidence, it is clear that all loud-mouthed claims are only aimed at political polarisation,” he said.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said that there was no point in being in power if the government is so powerless that it cannot ensure the safety of an MLA.
Does the BJP, “which is always waiting for an opportunity to get political mileage using communally sensitive issues”, really understand political morality, he questions in the letter.
Mr. Kumaraswamy was equally critical of the Congress. He said that the party had projected itself as the saviour of the minorities during the D.J. Halli and the earlier Padarayanapura violence, but had failed to speak up for the community when it was really needed.
“Why did the Congress not come to the rescue of minorities during the anti Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests? Where were they when minority youths were gunned down by the police in Mangaluru?” he questioned.
He challenged the Congress to explain the “political calculations” behind challenging the government to ban the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). He asked whether the conspiracy behind the riots, as alleged by some Congress leaders, came from within the party or from outside.
“Coming to power is the main aim of all political parties. But there has to be some social responsibility, leadership and honesty. The behaviour of the BJP and the Congress on an issue related to communal harmony reflects that they have none of it,” he concluded in the letter with an appeal to both parties to “quit petty politics.”