Caste remark by LRS: JD(S) to initiate strict action

Last Updated 04 April 2019, 17:33 IST

Disciplinary action will be initiated against Mandya MP L R Shivarame Gowda for his casteist remarks against Sumalatha Ambareesh, JD(S) state president H Vishwanath said on Thursday.

Speaking at a media interaction, Vishwanath said criticising Sumalatha only for political reasons was unseemly.

“There are members of all communities in Mandya. Gowda is an MP and shouldn’t make such remarks. The party has taken his remarks seriously and will initiate disciplinary action against him,” he said.

Gowda had targetted Sumalatha’s caste while addressing an election rally in Mandya recently, alleging that she was out to ‘Naidu-ise’ Mandya, referring to her Balija Naidu caste. This had prompted the Karnataka Balija Sangha to file a complaint with the Election Commission against the ‘divisive remarks’.

“Sumalatha is the wife of late actor and minister Ambareesh and targeting her purely for political reasons was not correct,” he said.

Every party is banking on various castes, which is an unhealthy trend, he pointed out. “It is unnecessary to disclose the caste details of a candidate and then make personal attacks over it. Such comments will not be tolerated by the voters,” Vishwanath said.

BJP leader and convenor of campaign committee R Ashoka said seeking votes in the name of a caste was an offence.

“JD(S) leaders are making derogatory remarks against Kamma, Naidu and other communities. The same people who had felicitated Chandrababu Naidu in Bengaluru are vilifying members of Naidu community in Mandya,” he said.

By targetting Sumalatha relentlessly, the JD(S) - which Ashoka pointed out has a woman in its party symbol - was insulting the women of Mandya, he said.

(Published 04 April 2019, 17:26 IST)

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