Won’t allow communal violence in Karnataka ahead of assembly

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said his government will not allow communal violence in the state even if the BJP tried hard for the same ahead of the assembly polls.

His comments come in the wake of the arrest of BJP MP Pratap Simha near Mysuru, ahead of a Hamnuman Jayanti procession yesterday. Simha is out on station bail.

“We will not allow any communal violence in our state, however much the BJP tries, ahead of the (assembly) polls. We will deal it with iron hands,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

The senior Congress leader condemned the behaviour of Simha for allegedly taking the driver’s seat and knocking down barricades, causing injury to some police personnel.

Simha and others were taken into preventive custody and later arrested after he along with the organisers allegedly insisted on making changes in the specified route for the Hanuman Jayanti procession, ignoring the advice of the administration.

On being stopped by the police for his preventivearrest yesterday, Simha allegedly took the driver’s seat of the vehicle he was travelling in and tried to drive off by knocking down barricades in the area.

Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, however, accused the chief minister of indulging in vendetta politics.

Siddaramaiah said ensuring law and order was the responsibility of the government.

“Therefore, two different routes were chalked out for smooth conduct of Eid Milad and Hanuma Jayanti processions,” he said.

The Karnataka chief minister was in the national capital for showing his solidarity with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who filed his nomination for the party president’s post.

Siddaramaiah later made a courtesy visit to Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Exhuding confidence of winning the forthcoming 2018 assembly polls, the Congress leader said the party tickets would be given to those with a high potential to win.

“We will discuss with party workers and decide about ticket distribution. The candidates with winning prospects will be given the priority,” he said.

Asked if the BJP’s massive victory in Uttar Pradesh civic polls would have an impact on Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said, “The election of local bodies is different from assembly polls. There will not be any impact. We are confident of winning with majority seats”.

Siddaramaiah also made it clear that he will contest from the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency next year.