BJP leaders take on Champa over speech, unite in defending Ananth

The BJP has launched a tirade against writer Chandrashekhar Patil (Champa) over his "political speech" at the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Mysuru and also for his critucism of Union Minister Ananth Kumar.

State BJP general secretary Shobha Karandlaje on Monday sought an apology from Champa for his remarks against Kumar.

She said Patil's statement Kumar did not know the meaning of secular was an insult to the people of Karnataka and demanded an apology from the writer.

The former minister said Kumar had strived for the upliftment of Kannada language and the people of Karnataka were aware of his contribution. She said it was unfortunate that the Sahitya Sammelana was used as a platform for glorifying "leftist thoughts" for "political gains" and for "promoting pseudo-secularism."

In Mysuru, MP Pratap Simha took severe exception to Patil's remarks against Kumar during the valedictory of the Sahitya Sammelana and sought an apology from him.

Addressing reporters in the city, he said, "No one needs to certify Ananth Kumar. The people know about his contribution to Kannada," the MP said.

"Champa, who highlighted secularism in his speech, has no minimum knowledge about it and he is trying to define it the other way.

Lashing out at Champa for converting the literary event into a political battlefield, Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi said he (Champa) was a supporter of the Congress.

Speaking to mediapersons in Dharwad, Joshi said, it appeared that Champa got elected as Sammelana president not as a senior writer, but as a Congress party agent.

Whatever Champa has said does not suit his stature. The Congress, which is dreaming of coming to power after the next elections, will meet its Waterloo, he said.

He said, Champa's daughter studied in English medium and Kannada was only a means of life for the writer.

In Shivamogga, Leader of the Opposition in the Council K S Eshwarappa said Champa was acting like a 'chamcha' (stooge) of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

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