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3 councillors involved in Bengaluru riots, says Revenue Minister R Ashoka

Bengaluru, Aug 12 2020: Revenue Minister R Ashoka has informed Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa that three councillors are said to be involved in the rioting that took place in KG Halli, DJ Halli and Kaval Byrasandra on Tuesday night.

R AshokAshoka said this to Yediyurappa during a phone call in the presence of the Congress’ Pulikeshinagar legislator Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. Ashoka held talks with Murthy at Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday.

“The MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy is here with me. He was saying that SPDI is involved. Three corporators are also involved,” Ashoka is heard telling Yediyurappa on the phone.

The Pulikeshinagar assembly constituency has seven municipal wards: Kushal Nagar, Kaval Byrasandra, Devarajeevana Halli, Muneshwara Nagar, Sagayapuram, SK Garden and Pulikeshinagar.

Of the seven wards, the Congress represents four wards - Devarajeevana Halli, Muneshwara Nagar, SK Garden and Pulikeshinagar. The JD(S) represents two - Kushal Nagar and Kaval Byrasandra. Sagayapura has an Independent councillor.

A highly placed source in the Congress told that the rioting could be the handiwork of “some people in our party who do not like Murthy.”

Murthy was earlier with the JD(S). He moved to the Congress ahead of the 2018 assembly elections along with BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan and five others.

The Pulikeshinagar constituency, reserved for SC, was formed after the 2008 delimitation. The Congress’ B Prasanna Kumar won in 2008. Murthy defeated Kumar in 2013. In 2018, Murthy won from the Congress’ ticket whereas Kumar switched to the JD(S).

The constituency has a sizable minority vote bank. It is seen as the Congress’ stronghold due to the Muslim and the Christian population forming the majority in four of the seven wards. Murthy relied on Zameer Ahmed Khan to garner Muslim votes.

“The fact that even Khan couldn’t bring the situation under control shows that there could be some mischief,” a top Congress leader said. Khan could not be reached for comment.

Politically, the Congress is viewing the Tuesday night incident as another wake-up call. “There’s the worry that we might be losing the Muslim support base,” the leader said, “because the SPDI is consistently trying to consolidate the Muslims in its favour.”

The SPDI could use the riots to its advantage ahead of the BBMP elections, the Congress said. In fact, the prime accused in the riots, Muzammil Pasha, belongs to the SDPI.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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