Bengaluru: The ruling Congress in Karnataka has found itself on the defensive over allegations of harassment of a police officer that led to the resignation of minister K J George responded with attacks.
An FIR will be registered against the former minister for abetment of suicide of Deputy Superintendent of Police MK Ganapathy, who killed himself earlier this month after naming Mr George and two officers in a television interview for allegedly harassing him.
The Opposition in the state had demanded Mr George's resignation and stalled proceedings in the legislative session that had to be adjourned sine die. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hit back saying they had no moral standing in the issue - with many in the BJP also facing serious charges but continuing in their posts.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Mr George was a loyal soldier of the party who did not need to resign - but that he respected the decision.
Siddaramaiah told NDTV at the Congress office in Bengaluru, "We are not on the defensive. Mr George has voluntarily resigned. He insisted to accept the resignation."
Attack is often the best form of defence. And Siddaramaiah attacked the BJP for double standards.
"Bandaru Dattatreya, a case is registered against him under Section 306 of IPC - abetment of suicide - but he has not resigned. So what moral right do these BJP people have? When their own people are involved in criminal cases, and they are facing charges, nobody has resigned. As many as 13 ministers are there in Modi's government with serious charges. Against Uma Bharati there are two murder cases but she has not resigned. She is functioning as a minister," he told NDTV.
In a press interaction, Siddaramaiah trotted out statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau -saying there were 24 police suicides in 2007 when H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) was chief minister and 20 suicides in a year when the BJP's Jagadish Shettar was at the helm of the state.
The chief minister also reiterated that there would be no CBI inquiry into the suicide as had been demanded by the Opposition.