Bengaluru: Accusing the BJP of lies, slander and character assassination, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said he is not upset about ruling party leaders calling him ‘Siddaramulla Khan’, and instead feels that they have rewarded his belief in secularism by attaching a Muslim name to his.
The former Karnataka chief minister was reacting to BJP national general secretary C T Ravi recently criticising Siddaramaiah by calling him ‘Siddaramulla Khan’. Ravi had also alleged that the former CM would “finish Hindus” if Congress forms the next government in the state.
“I’m not upset about Muslim name being added to my name and being called Siddaramulla Khan. We have the heritage of Shishunala Sharif, a disciple of Govinda Bhat, poet Kabir, a disciple of Saint Ramananda. So, they (BJP) have rewarded my belief in secularism by attaching Muslim name to my name,” Siddaramaiah said in a statement.
There is nothing surprising in the slander carried out by the BJP, which has made falsehood, slander and character assassination as a tool for its political propaganda, the Leader of Opposition said.
Siddaramaiah says he & his party leaders will retire from politics, if they fail to fulfill poll promises
“Are they going to polls by showing their faces smeared with zero achievements, corruption and iniquities?” he asked.
Such conduct indicates their despair and helplessness, he further said, adding: “Let us all mourn the moral depravity of the BJP that once had decent people.” Claiming that people call him ‘Anna (food) Ramaiah’, ‘Raita (farmer) Ramaiah’, ‘Kannada Ramaiah’, ‘Dalita Ramaiah’ in recognition of his services as chief minister, Siddaramaiah said he will be happy if he is called ‘Siddaramulla Khan’ in recognition of the work done for the Muslim community.
“I have been opposing the communalism of Muslims and other religions with the same clarity and commitment as Hindu communalism. Like the BJP, I am not one who does communal politics targeting Muslims in particular, without any distinction between good and bad, for political reasons,” he said.
Noting that the people of the state are convinced that the Tipu Sultan jayanti controversy and the violence that took place a few years ago in this regard was BJP’s creation with a political motive, he said, “People have seen everyone from BJP Chief Minister to ministers to legislators celebrating Tipu Jayanti earlier, by wearing various costumes.” Accusing BJP of running false propaganda that Hindu youth were killed when he was chief minister, Siddaramaiah said, “I will not ask them to stop the slander against me. But it would be foolish if BJP thinks that I would stop my fight against their government’s mismanagement, corruption and communal politics out of fear of such slanders.” Assembly polls in Karnataka are due in the first half of 2023.