Eshwarappa slams Cong leaders with objectionable remark

K S Eshwarappa sparks row with expletive against Congress leaders, apologises later

Eshwarappa’s outburst was following a query from a journalist that someone from Congress had called him (the minister) a joker

Senior BJP leader K S Eshwarappa. Credit: DH Photo

In a fresh low in public discourse, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa on Tuesday belted out a Kannada expletive at Congress leaders.

Eshwarappa quickly withdrew his words even as Congress demanded Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to take action. 

The minister was responding to a comment made against him by Congress leaders on Tuesday. The retaliation was specifically to Congress leader B K Hariprasad, who quipped that Eshwarappa should change his name to "Mera Naam Joker" as the minister often made controversial statements. 

However, Eshwarappa quickly backtracked and stated that he was withdrawing the usage of the expletive. "I take back the expletive. You told me about the comment that was made against me and I hit back. It was a spur of the moment comment," Eshwarappa said, urging reporters not to "make a big deal of it".  

Also read: Do we remain silent even if our women are raped: Karnataka minister Eshwarappa

The minister went on to add that Congress leaders made off-the-cuff remarks without thinking. "Take Siddaramaiah, for instance. Recently, he dared the BJP to announce a Dalit chief minister. The Congress was in power since independence. Why didn't they make a Dalit as CM? Who is the joker? Congress, BJP or Eshwarappa?" he said, alleging that the Congress thought of Dalits only as vote bank. He also pointed out that the Union Cabinet had 27 OBCs and 20 Dalits. "Has this ever happened before?"

NSUI workers staged a protest outside Eshwarappa's Vasanthnagar house. 

"Speaking vulgarly about opposition leaders shows Eshwarappa's culture," Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said. "Bouquets and brickbats are common in a democracy. Those in power should learn to receive them both." 

Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar said, "The entire state is watching these kind of statements made by BJP leaders. Let's see what the CM does about Eshwarappa."

Meanwhile, Congress' Hariprasad, Ramalinga Reddy and M Narayanaswamy demanded that Eshwarappa be removed from Cabinet for his recent 'hate speech' in Shivamogga. "An FIR must be registered against him," they demanded.