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Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah lashes out at BJP for 'Siddaramullah Khan' remark

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah has lashed out at the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for calling him 'Siddaramullah Khan'.
On Thursday, Siddaramaiah stated, "There is nothing surprising in the smear campaign by adding a 'Muslim name' to my name as the BJP has made falsehood, slander and defamation its political propaganda". "I don't mind adding a Muslim name to my name," the Congress leader said, adding, "We have the legacy of Saint Shishunala Sharif, who was born into a Muslim family and became a disciple of Govinda Bhatt. He continues to awaken our conscience".
"We also have the legacy of the world-famous Sufi poet Kabir, who was born into a Muslim family but was accepted as a disciple by Saint Ramananda," he added, saying: "So I know that they have rewarded my faith in secularism by attaching the Muslim name to my name".
"What else can they do other than such false propaganda? Are they going to poll by showing the smeared face of zero achievements, corruption and iniquities?" Siddaramaiah added.
"Their statement indicates their defeat, despair and helplessness. Let us all mourn collectively that a once 'decent party' has fallen into such moral depravity," he said.
Quoting his developmental work as a former chief minister, Siddaramaiah stated, "Many people call me 'Anna Ramaiah', Farmer Ramaiah, Kannada Ramaiah, and 'Dalit Ramaiah' in recognition of the services I have rendered towards the people as chief minister.
"Similarly, if the work I have done for the Muslim community is recognized and I am called 'Sidramullah Khan', I am happy about that too".
Taking a clear stand on secularism, the 75-year-old stated, "I have opposed the communalism of Muslims and other religions with the same clarity and vigour as Hindu communalism. I am not one to do communal politics like Bharatiya Janata Party which targets Muslims in general, without distinction between good and bad, for political reasons".
Alleging the BJP of petty politics over the celebration of Tipu Sultan Jayanti, Siddaramaiah remarked, "The people of the state are now convinced that the controversy and riots created by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar in the last few years, on the pretext of Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations, are politically motivated".
"There is evidence that not only did everyone from the Chief Ministers to the Minister-legislators celebrate Tipu Jayanti by dressing up in various costumes, but also by singing in praise of Tipu", he further said.
Quoting former Karnataka CM and BJP MLA Jagdish Shettar, he said, "Shettar not only wrote a 400-page book on Tipu Sultan through the Department of Kannada and Culture when he was Chief Minister, but he also wrote a foreword in praise of Tipu in the book".
President Ram Nath Kovind, who participated in the Diamond Jubilee function of the Legislative Assembly when I was the Chief Minister, has praised the achievements of Tipu Sultan in his speech, he further said.
Siddaramaiah further addressed the BJP's allegation of killing of Hindu youths during his chief ministership and said, " BJP leaders are running a false campaign", and added, "Shobha Karandlaje had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that 24 Hindus had been killed in the state. It also included the name of a living person".
"Among them, SDPI and PFI members were accused of the killing of Hindus. Our own government filed a case and a charge sheet. The CBI recently said that the death of a youth named Paresh Mesta was not murder," he added.
"Investigation revealed that the rest of the killings were due to personal enmity," he said.
"I know that those who spread slander will be punished in front of the people of the state. I am not asking you to stop the slander against me. But know that, I will not stop my fight against mismanagement, corruption and communal politics of the state government just because of such slanders," he said.
He said: "The people of Karnataka are intelligent and wise enough to decipher right from wrong". (ANI)

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