Stoking a controversy, JD(S) MLA from Arsikere, K M Shivalingegowda said on Sunday that supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking votes for BJP by chanting his name should be “slapped”.
Shivalingegowda, who was addressing a meeting of JD(S) party workers in Arsikere recently, while highlighting the failures of the Modi government, had said, “Slap those who chant Modi, Modi.” A video clip of Shivalingegowda making these remarks has gone viral.
The BJP leaders were quick to criticise the MLA, with their social media team painting the comments as a threat to “assassinate” Modi.
BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said elected representatives should refrain from making such remarks. “Such arrogant remarks will not be tolerated by the people of Hassan. They will teach an appropriate lesson to the JD(S),” he said.
BJP spokesperson and MLA Suresh Kumar, who “misinterpreted” the remarks of Shivalingegowda, said the Arsikere MLA had asked JD(S) workers to attack Modi. “This shows the desperation of Congress and JD(S) coalition regarding their prospects in the coming elections. We will file a complaint with the Election Commission,” he said.
Shortly after the video was aired on TV, BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) tweeted: “Goonda JDS MLA K M Shivalingegowda urge his goons to pelt stones at PM
@narendramodi when he visits Karnataka. Coalition partners are openly issuing threat to kill PM. Clear attempt to wipe out democracy & install dictatorship is made under
Shivalingegowda’s remarks also attracted criticism from leaders of the Congress-JD(S) coalition.
Eshwar Khandre, working president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said such statements were wrong. “No MLA should resort to such dirty politics. Our leaders should not lose patience,” he said.
Shivalingegowda questioned the promises made by BJP. “Modi had promised to recover the money stashed in Swiss banks and had promised to remit Rs 15 lakh in our bank accounts. Has anyone got even Rs 15?” he said.