The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday launched a campaign against alleged killings of Hindu activists in Karnataka. The Ankola leg of the two-pronged Padayatra was launched by parents of Paresh Mesta- a 21-year-old resident of Honnavar who was found dead under mysterious circumstance in December 2017.
In their attempt to woo fragmented Hindu voters in the communally sensitive regions of the state the BJP launched the yatra to highlight murders of alleged Hindu workers under the Siddaramaiah government. "The Hindu community has supported me and all I want is justice from the government for my son's death. I am with the BJP in its fight," said Kamalakar Mesta, Paresh's father resonating with the BJP's sentiments over the case.
Despite a clarification from the state government, the BJP has continued to allege that 23 hindu activists have been murdered in the state. "We wait for justice from government but this government is murdering our Karyakartas. Siddaramaiah's is a murderous government," Ananthkumar Hegde said. The union minister challenged Siddaramaiah to visit coastal Karnataka and answer the people's questions.
Meshta's father who had claimed that Paresh didn't belong to any Hindu organisation, on Saturday claimed that he was a Hindu activisit. The narrative adding to the BJP's hindutva agenda in coastal Karnataka.
A tableu portraying cow slaughter and a Hindu man being killed by a group of men with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah looking was the highlight of the rally in Ankola.
Union ministers Ananthkumar Hegde and Prakash Javdekar inaugurated the Ankola leg of the Janasuraksha yatra while MPs Pratap Simha and Nalin Kumar Kateel launched the Kushalanagar leg. The four-day rally across coastal Karnataka and kodagu will culminate in Mangaluru on Tuesday. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will address the rally on Tuesday.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|