"Set Right Your Mistakes First": H D Kumaraswamy Slams Congress On Hanuman Flag Row

"If you have even a bit of administrative knowledge, set right your government's mistakes first," he said.

'Set Right Your Mistakes First': H D Kumaraswamy Slams Congress On Hanuman Flag Row

He blamed "arrogant" Congress of politicking to gain advantage in upcoming polls (File)

Mandya (Karnataka):

JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy on Monday joined the protest against the removal of a saffron flag bearing Lord Hanuman's image from Keragodu village near here. He blamed the state's Congress government for creating the fraught situation and failing to handle it effectively.

The state government clarified a day ago that the Hanuman flag was removed as permission was only sought to hoist the national Tricolour and the Karnataka State flag. However, the replacement of the Hanuman flag with the National Flag has led to a confrontation between the government and the opposition in the state.

Hitting out Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy, whose party is an ally of the opposition BJP, accused him and his government of playing politics on the issue, and instigating the people by using police force to quell the public unrest over the removal of the 'Hanuma dwaja'.

Wearing a saffron shawl on his shoulders, the former chief minister earlier addressed the protestors who had marched from Keragodu village to the Deputy Commissioner's office here, demanding that the saffron flag be restored.

Leaders and workers of BJP and JD(S), along with activists of the Hindu nationalist outfit Bajrang Dal and other organisations, participated in the march along with the people of Keragodu and surrounding villages.

Mr Kumaraswamy told reporters after addressing the gathering, that the Deputy Commissioner of the area should have handle the situation by speaking to the protestors, instead of setting the police upon them. He claimed that it was the police that instigated the crowd.

Addressing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah he said, "You claim to have administrative experience, having presented 14 budgets (in the state assembly). If you have even a bit of administrative knowledge, set right your government's mistakes first." Earlier today, Siddaramaiah had accused the opposition BJP and JD(S) of trying to instigate people, with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Kumaraswamy in turn blamed the "arrogant" Congress of politicking to gain advantage in the upcoming polls. "Instead of accusing (opposition parties) of doing politics, set things right. It is not us (opposition) who are doing things keeping the Lok Sabha polls in mind," he claimed. 

"Yesterday there was a lathi charge by the police on people. Today also they have done a lathi charge, injuring a person near his eyes and another person on his legs. Was this needed?" he asked.

Noting that the government had removed the saffron flag citing rules and the grounds on which permissions were granted, the former chief minister questioned the Congress government asking with whose permission flex boards featuring pictures of the ruling party's leaders had been put up across Mandya city, despite court orders against it.

"If they don't set things right, they will not be able to walk on the streets," he cautioned, and accused the ruling party of acting against the wish of the people who elected it to power.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)