BENGALURU — The opposition parties in Karnataka are apprehending a big game in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 by the BJP government at the Centre.
Deputy Chief Minister and Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar and mining baron turned politician Gali Janardhana Reddy have pulled no punches in their attacks on the BJP for ‘misusing’ the central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against them.
Both the leaders claimed that they were hounded by these agencies, their friends and supporters being targeted by the central government. After the thumping victory in Karnataka D.K. Shivakumar claimed that he was given two choices of either joining the BJP or going to jail. He stated that he chose the second option.
Janardhana Reddy after seizure of properties during campaigning following simultaneous raids in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, proclaimed that he can’t be threatened by the raids. He publicly vowed to defeat the BJP in the elections. He emerged the winner and his party proved costly for the BJP in the Kalyan Karnataka region.
The game is on in Karnataka again for political mileage, say sources. The agencies will be used for arm twisting the strong leaders of the ruling Congress and the JD (S) to create a favourable environment for the BJP.
AAP leader Brijesh Kalappa told IANS that one of the major publications has done a story in which it was shown that of 46 income tax raids on political personalities, 42 were aimed at the BJP’s political opponents in Karnataka.
“Naturally, the game definitely seems to be on before the Lok Sabha elections. The trend has already begun in neighbouring Maharashtra. Since, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had already hinted that there may be a Ajit Pawar in Karnataka, it is very likely that the BJP is going to become overactive in the coming days,” he said.
In Karnataka also we have a high profile ED case against Congress state president and Dy CM D.K. Shivakumar. The ED, IT and CBI have had their own role in ensuring that 17 MLAs belonging to the Congress and the JD (S) shifted camp midway and joined the BJP in 2019, he said.
These agencies in Karnataka are behaving as if they are a frontal organization of the BJP, Kalappa charged.
“After 2014, the ED, CBI, IT have been misused to a great extent. And, one leader against whom one of the agencies has acted, has found relief the moment he joined the BJP. So, just like this, there are over a hundred leaders in all of India who have got relief by joining hands with the BJP,” he claimed.
Some of these leaders are Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari in West Bengal, and Ajit Pawar, Chaggan Bhujbal and Narayan Rane in Maharashtra, said Kalappa.
Those who remain steadfast and bound to their ideology including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain are targeted by the ED, CBI and IT. This misuse of the agencies will perhaps come to an end when the Modi regime is voted out of power in 2024, Kalappa stated.
Congress national spokesperson Lavanya Ballal speaking to IANS said, “We have always seen how the BJP’s washing machine works. We have also seen a number of policy makers, opposition leaders being raided by these agencies.
“Meanwhile, the very same leaders if they quit the opposition parties and join the BJP, immediately we see that the cases against them cease to figure and sometimes the cases are dropped. How does that happen?”
“This is not just one party saying this, but many parties in India mentioned how their party men are targeted by the BJP through these agencies. Unfortunately, at this juncture, all constitutional bodies which are supposed to be free and fair are under severe threat. There is a stranglehold of the BJP over all constitutional wings in India which are supposed to operate freely, which will not be good for democracy and the nation.” — IANS