BJP wants Ramanath Rai removed from Cabinet

BJP wants Ramanath Rai removed from Cabinet

Accuses him of misusing power to target RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat

BJP wants Ramanath Rai removed from Cabinet

The principal Opposition BJP demanded in the both Houses of the legislature that the government remove Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai from the Cabinet for “misusing” his power to “target” senior RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said a video had surfaced which purportedly shows Rai directing the Dakshina Kannada SP, Bhushan G Borase, to arrest the RSS leader in the wake of recent clashes at Kalladka. “The minister has been caught interfering in the police work. He has directed the officer to file a  murder case against Bhat. Rai should not continue as minister (sic),” he stated.

In a recent statement to the media, the SP had held drug mafia responsible for the Kalladka clashes. Preliminary investigation has proved that Bhat has nothing to do with the clashes. Though the enquiry is still on, the minister jumped to a conclusion and tried to influence the police, Shettar said, adding that he is ready to submit the video in the form of a CD to the House.

V Sunil Kumar (BJP) accused Rai of being responsible for communal clashes in the district. “How can the minister direct the police to conduct the investigation in a particular way? It is an effort by the minister to appease the minority community by targeting pro-Hindu leaders. Rai should be removed as the in-charge minister of Dakshina Kannada district,” he demanded.

Vishweswara Hegde Kageri (BJP) said the video was a testimony to the minister’s efforts to disturb communal harmony. The entire House should admonish the minister, he said. Congress members, including Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, Mohiudddin Bava and Abhayachandra Jain, objected to BJP members, leading to a noisy scene in the House.

Raising the issue in the Upper House, BJP’s Tara Anuradha sought Rai’s immediate resignation.
“The government is committing atrocities against BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders in the coastal belt. Rai is misusing his powers. The government is nurturing political enmity and, voices of other political parties ar­e suppressed. Rai’s action is a new model of terrorism,” she charged.

Minister denies charge
Later, Rai denied having directed the SP to take action against any particular individual and said he had only asked the officer to act against those who make inflammatory speeches. He said some members connected to the Sangh Parivar are involved in the murder of local leaders belonging to a minority community.

“Inflammatory speeches were responsible for the recent clashes. So, I asked the police to take action against those who make such speeches...

“Some members of the Sangh Parivar were arrested in connection with the violent incidents. I have never protected a murderer in my life. I am a secular person and I vehemently oppose religious fanatics,” he stated.
DH News Service

Home Minister defends Rai
Home Minister G Parameshwara defended Ramanath Rai, saying that being the district in-charge minister he has responsibility to ensure law and order and communal harmony. Rai instructing the SP is not wrong. But, the police can’t arrest anybody based on a minister’s direction. The police will have to probe the matter and take action as per the law,” he  added. Two people were stabbed in the recent violence at Kalladka, which took a communal colour. “Bhat had made many provocative speeches in the past. The police had arrested him several times for his involvement in violence.

Currently, there is no evidence about Bhat’s involvement in the violence. The police are probing the issue,” Parameshwara stated.