Former Karnataka Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular, on Wednesday came out in support of the man who took his job - the BJP's BS Yediyurappa.
In an interview to a local Kannada channel, TV9, Chief Minister Yediyurappa had said the Muslim community was extending support in the fight against coronavirus and nobody should speak against them. The chief minister said the whole community should not be held responsible for any particular incident, referencing to the Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in Delhi which became the hotspot for coronavirus cases in Delhi, and that he would take action against those who spoke against the community.
Mr Kumaraswamy tweeted, "I welcome and whole heartedly support the resolve shown by Shri B S Yeddyurapppa in dealing with communal hate mongers in times of #COVID19 crisis. Despite the CM's warning, many media houses are engaged in fanning the communal frenzy. (sic)"
In such an unprecedented national health emergency, communal hatred can not only derail government's efforts to restore normalcy but also lead to communal unrest.— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) April 8, 2020
Some of Mr Yediyurappa's own party colleagues in the state like Shoba Karandlaje and CT Ravi have made controversial remarks on the issue. Mr Kumaraswamy's message included: "The CM should also order his party colleagues not to air communally sensitive opinions."
I appeal to @BSYBJP to immediately issue executive orders to the Police to file suo motu FIRs against those who incite communal hatred in print, TV and social media. The CM should also order his party colleagues not to air communally sensitive opinions.@CMofKarnataka— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) April 8, 2020
As in other states, people from Karnataka who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The chief minister had recently called a meeting of Muslim leaders to talk to them about the need for those who had attended the gathering to report to authorities and get checked for COVID-19. He said he has been assured of cooperation in this regard.
175 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus in Karnataka, of which four have died and 25 have recovered.