With Karnataka Assembly elections coming up in April-May this year, the political battle has started unfurling and each side is cautiously playing its cards.
A glimpse of this political battle came to light when a letter from Inspector General Police (IGP) was sent to 22 Superintendents of Police (SPs) and a few police commissioners, seeking their view on the possibility of withdrawing cases related to communal violence, rioting, unlawful assemble, damage to public property etc.
The BJP has called this move Muslim Appeasement. BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje said, “If this is not Muslim appeasement, then what is? The Siddaramaiah government is planning to give amnesty to people involved in serious offences, just to get votes. Nobody can tolerate this. We will fight against it.”
This is not the first time that Siddaramaiah has resorted to these petty communal tactics. His tacit support to Popular Front of India (PFI) a rabid Jihadist group, under the garb of secularism, is well known. PFI activists have often been convicted of carrying out illegal activities, murders and inciting violence. In 2015, Siddaramaiah had shamelessly withdrawn criminal cases against 1600 PFI and KFD (another Muslim group) activists. Siddaramaiah had also created uproar amongst the people after his announcement of observing Tipu Jayanti resulting widespread furore.
With his current announcement of withdrawing communal violence cases on Muslims, Siddaramaiah has once again given a proof of his “secular politics” which means nothing more than Muslim appeasement for the sake of votes. Former CM and state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa has said that Siddaramaiah’s secular mask is off and his government’s blatant communal face is in front of everyone.
Reacting on the situation, Siddaramaiah has said that they are also withdrawing cases against farmers and Kannada activists and the allegations by BJP is ‘false propaganda’. The idea, he said, is to withdraw cases against innocent people and not just innocent Muslims.
It is worthwhile to ask Mr. Siddaramaiah how exactly does he intend picking these ‘innocent people’ from the non-innocent ones? Has his government found a way through which they just magically know who is innocent and who is not, without any judicial proceedings? Also, if these people are innocent, then why were the charges put against them in the first place? Has the state government been so inefficient with maintaining law and order that they had to press charges even against those who were “innocent”, only to withdraw these charges around elections?
Mr. Siddaramaiah might believe that the people are naïve and stupid enough to buy these downright cheap ploys but that is not the case, at least not this time. The response Amit Shah’s rally got in Mysore the strong pro-BJP wave amongst the people hint towards better days in the state of Karnataka with a government which will not have to resort to appeasing Muslims and turn a blind eye to communal violence or pick on innocent people to maintain law and order.
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