In a no-holds barred attack, senior Karnataka Congress leader Roshan Baig on Tuesday, 21 May, accused the state party chief of being a "flop show" and scoffed at AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal as a "buffon", prompting the party to issue a show cause notice for his outburst.
Baig, a senior MLA, also slammed former chief minister Siddaramaiah for "dividing" the Hindu society by attempting to give separate religion tag to Lingayat community and "abusing" the Vokkaliga community during his tenure in the top post.
KPCC Prez, Siddaramaiah Responsible For ‘Flop Poll’ Campaign
Asked whom would he blame for the present condition of the Muslims in Karnataka, Baig pointed fingers at KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao for conducting "flop poll campaign" and also attacked CLP leaders including Siddaramaiah for the same.
"I hold Dinesh Gundu Rao for conducting a flop poll campaign. Moreover, CLP leaders who were flying high in the sky should come to terms with ground realities," he added.
Baig said he was not surprised by exit poll numbers as from the very beginning he knew Congress would not get good numbers because of the “flop poll campaigning” of the party.
KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, on Tuesday, said, “It's unbecoming of a politician of his stature to be speaking like this, it reeks of pure political opportunism. We will take required action when the time is right.”
‘His Opinion, Not Party’s’
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameswara on Tuesday, said, that holding Siddaramaiah and Rao responsible for ‘flop poll campaign’ is Baig’s own opinion and “not party’s opinion or assessment”.
“He (Dinesh Gundu Rao) is Karnataka Congress in-charge, he has to take stock of situation, there's a political development, everyone knows about it, there is nothing to hide.When results are out, he will discuss our options with senior leaders,” he added.
Rao also hit back at Baig for his comments and asked what was the need for such a comment before the results of Lok Sabha elections, as reported by News18.
‘Venugopal A Buffoon’
On Tuesday, Baig lashed out at the senior Congress leader KC Venugopal, calling him a "buffoon" along with the former Karnataka chief minister and KPCC president.
"KC Venugopal is a buffoon. I feel sorry for my leader Rahul Gandhi ji. Buffoons like Venugopal, the arrogant attitude of Siddaramaiah & the flop show of Gundu Rao...The result is this," he told ANI.
He also slammed the the party in the state for "selling the portfolios".
"Portfolios were sold. How can I blame Kumaraswamy for it? He wasn't allowed to function. From day one, Siddaramaiah said 'I'm going to be CM'. You've gone to their doorstep to form government!," he said.
“No seats were given to Christians and only one seat was given to Muslims in Karnataka, they were ignored. I'm upset with this, we have been used,” he added.
On Monday, 20 May, Baig, who was miffed with the outcome of the exit polls, also dropped hints of quitting the party and appealed to Muslims to compromise with the situation if NDA returns to power.
"Well, if NDA is coming back to power, I humbly appeal to Muslim brothers to learn to compromise with the situation," he told a section of media here.
‘Muslims Should Join Hands With BJP’
Asked if that means Muslims should join hands with BJP, Baig said if need arises, they must as the Congress had given just one ticket to a Muslim leader in Karnataka.
"“If needs be, (Muslims) must join hands. We must not remain loyal to one party. What happened to Muslims in Karnataka? The Congress gave just one seat,”" - Roshan BaigIf Need Be, Will Leave Congress: Baig
Asked if he will take a decision to quit the Congress in coming days, Baig said if need be, he would.
"If need be, I will do it because we (Muslims) cannot remain in a party with disgrace. We live our lives with grace and dignity. Where we will not get respect, we will not want to remain there. If someone makes us sit with love and affection, we will sit with them," he said.
‘Baig's Outburst to Give New Direction to K’taka Politics’
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday, 21 May, said Baig's outburst against his party leadership will give a “new direction” to the state politics.
"“You cannot hide truth and true incidents. It will be in public sooner than later. Probably, Roshan Baig was keeping it to himself. He was forced to speak out looking at the current situation.”" - HD Deve Gowda
He further said, "Baig is thinking that State Food and civil supplies minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan has taken over his position, for which Siddaramaih is responsible. It will give a new direction to Karnataka politics."
Asked whether BJP will welcome Baig if he expresses interest in joining the saffron party, he said, "We welcome all those who believe in our ideology. We don't have enmity."
Sadananda Gowda, a former state chief minister, is contesting from the Bengaluru North constituency.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI and News18)
. Read more on Elections by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsCong Questions Naga Accord as 11 Including MLA Killed in Arunachal . Read more on Elections by The Quint.