Following incidents of eggs being hurled at Congress leader Siddaramaiah's car and black flags waved at him during his visit to Kodagu, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday, 19 August, said he has personally spoken to the Leader of Opposition in the State and assured him of adequate security and a thorough probe.
Earlier in the day, alleging that those who pelted his car with eggs were from "an organisation which Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse belonged to", Siddaramaiah, who termed the incident as "State-sponsored", wondered whether such people would spare him.
This even as activists of Hindu organisations and the BJP continued their protests against the former Chief Minister for his "Muslim area" remark and comments against Hindutva icon V D Savarkar for the second day today, and there were reports of black flag being shown to him during his visit to Chikkamagaluru today.
"I spoke to Siddaramanna (Siddaramaiah) after seeing some media reports on threats to his life. I have given him assurance that we have taken them very seriously and get them thoroughly investigated," Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters, he said he has spoken to Director General of Police about law and order.
"No one should take law into their hands on this matter. It is happening from both sides. No one should make statements that incite others and take law into their hands. I have asked the DGP to give instructions to all SPs (Superintendent of Police) in this regard, and to give adequate security or additional security to the Leader of Opposition in the backdrop of the recent developments,"Bommai added
The Chief Minister further said he has personally spoken to the senior Congress leader, and has asked him to share details in case he or his staff received threatening calls, along with the assurance that he would get them seriously inquired into.
Bommai was responding to concerns expressed by Siddaramaiah's son and MLA Yathindra Siddaramaiah about his father's security.
"They tried to put Savarkar's photo in a Muslim area. Let them put up whatever photo, no problem. But, why do that in a Muslim area? And, why did they say 'no' to Tipu Sultan's photo?" he had said.
Following the remarks, activists of the Hindu organisations and the BJP had begun protests against Siddaramaiah, and there were instances of eggs being hurled at his car and black flags waved during his visit to Kodagu on Thursday. "Yesterday's was a State-sponsored protest...can't we do it (protest) holding black flags? Can't our workers do it for the Chief Minister of Ministers? It was an act of cowardice, they have done it when I had gone to assess rain-related damage and hear the farmers out," Siddaramaiah said today.
Speaking to reporters in Chikkamagaluru, he said on 26 August, he, along with Congress workers, would besiege the SP's office in Kodagu, alleging that there is no law and order and that the official had "wrong intentions" and colluded with the RSS, Bajrang Dal and Sangh Parivar, and allowed the incident to happen.
Earlier, addressing an event, Siddaramaiah, speaking about Thursday's incident, said, "These people 'eliminated' Gandhi. Will they leave me? They killed Gandhi. Godse had shot at Gandhi, yet they worship the assassin's photograph."
"Yesterday (Thursday), they were protesting by holding posters of Savarkar, they are calling a man who apologised to the British as Veer Savarkar. I don't have any personal enmity or anger against Savarkar. He was also a human being, but his conduct was not right," said the Congress legislature party leader said.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders and workers held protests and demonstrations in different parts of the State criticising the BJP government in the State and Sangh Parivar organisations, alleging their involvement in eggs being hurled at Siddaramaiah's car. Some even called it a security lapse and attempts to cause hurt to their leader.
BJP Leaders Continued To Target Siddaramaiah
This came even as BJP leaders continued to target Siddaramaiah for his "Muslim area" remark and comments against Savarkar, with the State Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar urging him to visit the cellular jail in Andaman and get to know the story of the Hindutva ideologue's contribution to the freedom struggle.
"Savarkar is known as Veer Savarkar for his contributions to India's freedom struggle. Siddaramaiah is belittling Savarkar because the former does not know history completely. Had he known history fully, he wouldn't have spoken that way," Kumar said in Udupi.
"I urge him to visit the cellular jail in Andaman...if you see that jail, tears will well up in your eyes, you will understand the kind of struggle of Indians, the cruelty of the British. If you have time, visit the jail and then talk about Savarkar," he said, adding that "Savarkar is the symbol of nationalism".
Questioning Siddaramaiah's "Muslim area" remark, BJP national general secretary C T Ravi asked if such Muslim-dominated areas in the State are a part of Pakistan according to the Congress leader.
"The mentality that photo should not be put up in Muslim area is not in the interest of the country. Today, they question Savarkar's photo, tomorrow they will question the tricolour-hoisting in that area, then they will say the law of this land is not applicable in their area and 'Shariat' will be followed, then they will say they are part of Pakistan,"C T Ravi said in Karwar