The new Congress government and the opposition BJP in Karnataka are slowly getting into confrontational mode over a plethora of contentious issues.
The Congress government has made it clear that it would repeal all anti-people laws made during the previous BJP regime. Its plan to repeal the anti-cow slaughter law is resulting in a war of words between the leaders of two parties.
"It is not even a fortnight in Karnataka after Congress assumed power, but the repeated statements of ministers warning imprisonment every time, reminds the strategy of Congress during emergency in 1975," former CM Basavaraj Bommai stated on Tuesday.
"If you think in the beginning stage itself that the mandate given by the people is to trample the opposition, you will have to pay a heavy price," Bommai told the ruling party.
Speaking on the statements of Congress ministers over any opposition against the revision of the law on cow slaughter, textbook revision, Bommai remarked that the Congress leaders have already got hang of the power.
"If the statements of a few ministers are observed, they are actually curtailing freedom of speech. They are talking in a fashion that they will bulldoze the opposition's point of view. It is feeling like Karnataka state is entering a state of emergency. One of the ministers says he will hit the officer with a knife. The people have given the mandate to serve the people, not misuse it. We as an opposition party won't sit quiet. Let the Congress jail anyone they want. The jails won't be sufficient if people turn against you," Bommai stated.
"We are not an Islamic country to dominate over people, we will not allow an emergency as people hold the key to democracy. We will not give any room for this development," he added.
Commenting on Bommai's statements, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao retaliated on Tuesday, "Mr Bommai, which emergency situation are you talking about? Don't you feel that your PM Narendra Modi government's ways of misusing investigating agencies to trample on freedom of speech is like an emergency situation?"
He further attacked that the BJP leaders are acting like a cat which had burnt its tail after losing elections. "Mr Bommai, as a responsible government we need to keep the healthy society intact. I pity your discretion for making judgment on action taken against those who violate laws and take law into their hands is dubbed as an emergency situation," he charged.
"Are you with those who violate the law?" Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned Bommai. Bommai replied saying all these years those who violated laws and committed crimes took shelter under the Congress led UPA government. "Now, the central government has initiated legal action against those who violated laws. All this is being done within the purview of monitoring of the judiciary," he stated.
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