Bangalore, Apr 5 UNI | 4 months ago

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today accused opposition BJP in the state of trying to curtail on the personal expressions of noted people like Jnanpith winners, who called for the defeat of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Speaking to reporters here, he said it was 'foolish' on part of the BJP leaders to think that the writers should not support Congress party.

'It may be true that they felt Mr Modi will unleash dictatorship in India in the event he becomes the next prime minister, so the BJP should be defeated. What is wrong in they saying it in the open. Should they not be let to speak their mind. This smacks of lack of courtesy on part these BJP men,' he alleged.

The Chief Minister said any one in a democratic set up was free to take sides of a political party and writers were also entitled to their free will, while having political inclinations.

Jnanpith Award winners U R Ananthamurthy and Girish Karnad had turned hard against the BJP and Mr Modi and called to defeat of the both. They had feared that if Mr Modi became the next Prime Minister, the country may face threat of falling into 'dictator's regime'.

This had evoked strong response from BJP leaders who accused the two writers, who they alleged had 'supported' naxalism in the country, become mouthpieces of Congress.

Mr Siddaramaiah denied the writers had naxal links and they supported the insurgents and said the BJP leaders should first read their works properly to know about their beliefs and policies.

'These BJP leaders are proclaiming themselves of guardians of Indian Culture, but first they should understand what the country's culture really is. They have a narrow mindset and know noting about the multi-cultural set-up that prevails in our country,' he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Siddaramaiah confirmed that he had received a notice from the Election Commission on his remarks made against Mr Modi, while speaking at a election meeting early this week at H D Kote in Mysore district.

He had allegedly branded Mr Modi as 'nara hara' (people killer), contesting Gujarat Chief Minister's followers coining a phrase 'Har Har Modi'. His rebuttal was in reference to 2002 Gujarat riots.

'I am in possession of the EC notice and reply to it shortly, explaining what I had said, what I really meant, and how it was reported,' Mr Siddaramaiah added.

(Posted on 05-04-2014)