Ballari: Congress leaders plan to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) against law minister J.C. Madhuswamy for his “casteist remarks” at a meeting of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community in poll-bound Vijayanagar constituency on Monday.
Accusing him of violating the election code of conduct by using “caste sentiments” to win votes for the ruling BJP ahead of the December 5 bypolls in the state, Congress leaders Basavaraj Rayaraddi, V.S. Ugrappa, Anil Lad and others demanded at a press conference in Hosapete on Tuesday that Governor Vaju Bhai Vala sack Mr Madhuswamy from the cabinet.
Strongly objecting to the minister telling the Lingayats that if they voted for candidates of other parties it would amount to a “tight slap” on the face of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa (who is seen as the community strongman), Mr Rayaraddi said the KPCC would lodge a complaint with the Chief Election Officer against him.
“If the Election Commission doesn't take action against him, we will file a case in court against him as under rule 125(A) of the People's Representatives Act, no person is allowed to conduct a meeting in the name of particular caste or religion to seek votes. This offence attracts a sentence of three years in prison as it could lead to a clash between communities and disturb the peace and harmony in society," he added.
The Congress also wants the Election Commission to take action against minister, V Somanna, Ballari MP, Y Devendrappa, Koppal MP, Karadi Sanganna and other BJP legislators and leaders who organised the Lingayat meeting. Mr Rayaraddi recalled that the KPCC has already petitioned the EC against Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for making similar casteist remarks at a Lingayat community meeting in Athani constituency last week....