Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was in Mandya on Thursday to address a gathering. However, not everything was pleasant at the event held near Shanthi College in Malavalli, with a senior police officer being at the receiving end of the wrath of the CM, reports Deccan Herald.
At the time of the CM's arrival, the BJP had started off a protest against the Congress leader. Members of the BJP blocked Siddaramaiah's official vehicle and waved black flags at him, demanding waiver for farmer loans. According to reports, although the police detained a few protesters, it took the police personnel some time to get into action and clear off the 50 protesters.
After visiting Malavalli, the CM addressed the gathering, in which he urged the Centre to waive crop loans borrowed by farmers from nationalised banks. He sought to seek attention to the severe drought prevailing in the state of Karnataka.
However, the CM was visibly upset as he attended the gathering later in the day, and saw the Congress leader reprimand the police officials for failing to prevent the BJP members from protesting. This seemed to have irked the CM, who chose to vent it out on the Mandya Superintendent of Police.
CM Siddaramaiah reportedly reprimanded Mandya SP CH Sudhir Kumar Reddy and allegedly called the police official “a useless fellow.”
Reacting to Siddaramaiah's action, Go Madhusudhan, BJP's Karnataka spokesperson told TNM that "the police was not a puppet in the hands of the ruling party" and that the Chief Minister must realise it soon enough.
Go MadhusudhanIn a democracy, it is the right of the opposition to stage dharna and protest in any manner. The CM must take it in the right sense and not take police officials to task. Police are not the puppet of the ruling party... this is the height of audacity of the CM to have publicly reprimanded a top official.
He went on to recollect an incident from the 1992, when he was the party's city president in Mysore and wanted to stage a protest against a Congress leader.
"It was a Muslim-dominated area and we sought the protection of the police commissioner to carry out a protest. At the time, the commissioner gave us full protection to raise our opposition," Go Madhusudhan added, emphasising the "right of the opposition."
(This article was originally published in The News Minute and has been reproduced with permission.)