Asianet Newsable lists Karnataka leaders who courted controversy in 2018
Call it a slip of the tongue or deliberate remarks, Karnataka leaders have made statements that have resulted in embarrassment for the party or triggered a political storm. From chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s recent 'shootout' comment, minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan's racist remarks to Siddaramaiah criticising HD Deve Gowda or Ananth Kumar Hegde's remark on activists calling them barking dogs, Asianet Newsable tracks the controversial statements made by Karnataka leaders in 2018.
Political leaders in Karnataka have always made headlines ‘’with their comments. Starting with Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy’s 'shootout' statement.
HD Kumaraswamy on December 25 was caught on camera ordering officials to kill mercilessly the murderers of JD(S) worker. Prakash, a JD(S) worker in Maddur, known to be close to HD Kumaraswamy, was murdered allegedly by Congress workers. Later, Kumaraswamy said that it was an emotional outburst and did not mean to actually execute the killers unlawfully.
Earlier in July, Kumaraswamy had put the Congress in a tight spot when he expressed that running a coalition is tough and he is doing it with pain. "Running a coalition is like gulping poison. I am in pain," Kumaraswamy had said in July, barely two months after the government was formed.
In May, Kumaraswamy had said that he cannot take any decision independently. "I am at the mercy of Congress. I cannot take any independent decision and will always have to consult them as I did not get people's mandate."
Even before the elections, Kumaraswamy was known to give befitting replies by airing comments that made Congress uncomfortable.
Former CM Siddaramaiah swore on Kumaraswamy’s father saying the latter would not become the chief minister. Kumaraswamy lashed out against Siddaramaiah by questioning his father's identity.
During the election campaign in April, Zameer Ahmed made racist remarks against HD Kumaraswamy by calling him 'blacky'. At an election campaign in Channapatna in April, Zameer said, "Kalu mere beta (black guy) will come to seek votes. He (Kumaraswamy) allegedly told that he can buy (Turkaru) a derogatory remark against Muslims. So do not let me down and give him a fitting reply."
Not only that, Zameer even said that he made a mistake by not undressing Kumaraswamy when he was with him to know whether he was a BJP man. "Had I removed his pant and checked if he is wearing a Khaki chaddi, I would have confirmed that he is a RSS/BJP man," he said.
Siddaramaiah in June expressed doubt in the survival of the coalition. "Five years is too long with the JD(S). We will see what will happen in Parliamentary elections," said Siddaramaiah.
Ramesh Jarkiholi from Belagavi made Kumaraswamy government feel jittery with his threats and remarks. On September 6, Jarkiholi spoke against first-time MLA and DK Shivakumar's confidante, Laxmi Hebbalkar. Jarkiholi also attacked DK Shivakumar. "If we want, we will ask his (DK Shivakumar’s) suggestions. We did not poke our nose in Kanakpura affairs. Similarly, he should not interfere here,” said Rameah.
Senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy openly criticised state party leaders for leaving him out of the Cabinet. "Seniors like Roshan Baig, HK Patil and I have been left out and the leaders say this gives youngsters an opportunity in the Cabinet. Why did they not put the same yardstick with respect to DK Shivakumar, G Parameshwara, KJ George and others?" Reddy said.
The BJP's firebrand leader from Ananth Kumar Hegde has also made remarks that put the party on the defensive. After his 'change in Constitution' comment that attracted protests, Hegde reportedly termed agitators, mainly Dalit wing supporters, as street dogs. "Won't pay heed to barking dogs that sit on protests," Hedge said this in January this year.