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Protests against me with black flags, eggs 'state sponsored': Siddaramaiah

Chikkamagaluru (K'taka): A day after eggs were hurled at his car and black flags were waved during his visit to Kodagu, Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Friday termed it a "state sponsored" protest.

Alleging that those who pelted eggs at his car were from "an organisation to which Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse belonged", the senior Congress leader and former chief minister wondered whether such people will spare him, as he was speaking against them.

"Yesterday at Titimati, there were about 10 youths shouting slogans; after that at four places they had gathered, Couldn't the police have stopped it? If the Chief Minister comes, will they let people protest with black flags? Won't they carry out preventive arrests? What was wrong with the Superintendent of Police (SP)?" Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters, he said on August 26, he along with Congress workers will lay siege to the SP's office in Kodagu, alleging that there is no law and order and that the official had "wrong intentions" and had colluded with the RSS, Bajrang Dal and Sangh Parivar and had allowed the incident to happen.

"Yesterday's was a state sponsored protest...can't we do it (protest) holding black flags? Can't our workers do it for the Chief Minister of Ministers? It was an act of cowardice, they have done it when I had gone to assess rain-related damage and hear out the farmers," he added.

Alleged BJP Yuva Morcha workers and activists of Hindu groups had raised slogans like 'Kodagina Virodhi Siddaramaiah', 'Go back Siddaramaiah' and 'Hindu Virodhi' when he was in Kodagu on Thursday to visit rain-affected areas. They were protesting against his statement asking "Why put Savarkar's photo in Muslim area?"

Noting that as the Leader of Opposition, he is a "shadow Chief Minister", Siddaramaiah said it is the duty of the government to provide proper security for him.

"It shows that there is no law and order in the state...it is a corrupt, bad and communal government. In fact there is no government at all, it is dead," he alleged.

Earlier addressing an event, the Congress legislature party leader, while speaking about Thursday's incident said, "These people 'eliminated' Gandhi. Will they leave me? They killed Gandhi, Godse had shot at Gandhi, but they worship his photo."

"Yesterday they were protesting holding posters of Savarkar, they are calling a man who apologised to the British as Veer Savarkar. I don't have any personal enmity or anger against Savarkar. He was also a human being, but his conduct was not right," he said.


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