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The Hindu
The Hindu
Kumar Buradikatti

Plot to assassinate Kharge family appears to have been hatched by BJP top brass: Congress

Referring to the audio clip in which Manikanth Rathod, a BJP candidate for Chittapur allegedly expressed his intentions to “finish off” All India Congress Committee (AICC) president M. Mallikarjun Kharge and his family, Congress leaders in Kalaburagi alleged that the conspiracy to assassinate the Kharge family must have been hatched by the BJP’s top brass.

“The plot to assassinate AICC president Mr. Kharge appeared to have been designed at the top level in BJP. An ordinary habitual offender [Mr. Rathod] cannot dare to go to such an extent without the backing of his party’s top brass. BJP leaders are desperate as they know that they are going to lose the Assembly elections in Karnataka. That is why they are attempting to physically eliminate the Kharge family. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who speaks volumes about peace, order and morality in his public addresses, is silent over the claims of the assassination of the Kharge family. It is his fundamental duty to speak on this and tell the truth to the country,” D. Sridhar Babu, AICC secretary in-charge of Kalyana Karnataka said in a media conference at the local party office in Kalaburagi on Sunday.

Mr. Babu also questioned why neither law enforcement agencies nor the Election Commission of India (ECI) had acted upon it even 24 hours after the audio clip had gone viral. “As an eyewash measure, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that he would get the issue enquired. But nothing has happened on the ground. It clearly shows the involvement of top brass in BJP and their reluctance to get to the bottom of the barrel,” Mr. Babu said.

‘BJP’s plan to nip criticism from Oppn’

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) vice-president and former minister Sharan Prakash Patil alleged that the designs to assassinate the Kharge family were a part of the BJP’s larger plans to get rid of criticism from the Opposition.

“We all know how AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge is exposing the hollowness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, both inside the Parliament and outside it. We know how he has emerged as the biggest challenge for the BJP at the national level. In Karnataka, Priyank Kharge is exposing BJP’s involvement in various scams, including the Bitcoin scam and PSI recruitment scam with substantial evidence. The Kharges have become a headache for the corrupt BJP both at the State and national level as they are consistent in their critical approach towards the BJP’s misrule. This is the reason the BJP must have hatched plans to physically eliminate the Kharge family,” Mr. Patil said and added that the BJP had no moral rights to speak on morality and seek votes from people.

When asked about the BJP’s claim that the audio clip in question was fake, Mr. Sharan Prakash questioned why then was the government hesitant to conduct an impartial enquiry to know the authenticity of the clip.  

Support from the top

B.R. Patil, former Deputy Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council, said, “They [right-wing forces] have assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. They don’t hesitate to go to any extent to curb dissent and criticism. An ordinary criminal [Mr. Rathod] cannot gain the courage to express his desire to kill the AICC president without the active support of his party’s top leadership. Mr. Rathod should immediately be arrested and the issue be investigated on a priority basis,” Mr. B.R. Patil said.

Congress candidates Allamprabhu Patil (Kalaburagi South), M.Y. Patil (Afzalpur), Subhash Rathod (Chincholi) and other party leaders were present.

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