BJP Rajya Sabha member Lahar Singh Siroya on Monday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to clarify whether ”Naxals/Maoists and their sympathisers” were part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra that is underway in Karnataka.
He has posed 10 questions to Gandhi and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah seeking clarity on certain issues, while asking whether the opposition party would seek a probe by central agencies into the affairs of ”Naxals/Maoists” and their sympathisers in the state.
”As they walk across Karnataka, can I request Sri Rahul Gandhi and Sri Siddaramaiah to give the nation and the state clarity on the following issues. Can they confirm that Naxals/Maoists and their sympathisers are not part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Karnataka leg? Were these people involved in the planning of the yatra?” Siroya said in a statement.
”Can they confirm if some Congressmen have helped Naxals/Maoists to collect large sum of money to build and run media outlets in recent years? Will they agree to a probe into the money sources of these people?” he further asked.
The Yatra which entered poll-bound Karnataka on September 30 via Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district, has reached Mysuru on Monday.
Siroya expressed ”suspicion” about the then Congress administration, which ruled the state between 2013-18, and asked Siddaramaiah to point out his government’s policy towards the Naxals in that period.
”Can they confirm if the Siddaramaiah-led government deliberately looked away as Naxals/Maoists exploited the death of a famous journalist to strengthen their operations? Did friends of Siddaramaiah give monetary and logistics help to Naxals/Maoists to organise memorial functions for the journalist?” he asked.
The journalist he seemed to be referring to is Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead on the night of September 5, 2017, from close range near her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar here.
”Like the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had a soft corner for PFI, did it also have a soft corner for Naxals/Maoists? Why did some underground elements come overground during his time? Recently, when action was taken against PFI, Siddaramaiah said there should be action against RSS too. Has he ever sought action against Naxals/Maoists?” he questioned.
PFI refers to the Popular Front of India, a radical Islamist outfit which was recently banned by the Centre.
Asking as to why Siddaramaiah first agreed to be part of a Chinese association function which wanted to protest against US ”involvement” in Taiwan, and suddenly withdrew after it became a public issue, he wanted to know, ”Did Siddaramaiah seek action against his friends and partymen involved in organising the function?”