Bengaluru | Under intense attack over alleged suicide of DySp M K Ganapathy, senior Karnataka minister K J George said he was being targeted for belonging to minority community, even as the state Assembly was rocked by pandemonium over the issue for the second day today.
As the House was engaged in a heated debate on the issue, a war of words between a state minister and BJP members spun out of control leading to ugly scenes with both trading charges and at one point even moving menacingly towards each other. Keeping up its pressure on the Congress-led state government, BJP also held statewide protests demanding resignation of George, who was named by Mangaluru DySP M K Ganapathy before he allegedly hanged himself to death at a hotel in Madikeri on Thursday last.
Hours before taking the extreme step, Ganapathy had also named A M Prasad (IG-Intelligence) and Pranab Mohanty (IGP-Lokayukta), saying they would be responsible if anything happens to me. George, Minister for Bengaluru Development, said in his reply in the Assembly that he was ready to face any punishment if an inquiry finds him guilty and was ready to resign if the Chief Minister asks for it. I’m not here to stick to power, let the inquiry happen.
I will not resign just because you are asking, I will resign immediately if my leader Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asks for resignation… I’m being targeted by BJP because Opposition leader’s name is Jagadish Shettar, while my name is George, he said. Stating that he will only resign on the orders of Siddaramaiah, he added Ganapathy had misconceptions about him.
Maintaining that he has never acted against his conscience, the Congress leader said he has worked efficiently in his 45-year political career and had never targeted any officer. Ganapathy had said that some Christian leaders had complained against him to me after Church attacks, it is not true.
He has said I had malice against him, but the fact is that after I became Home Minister he was given posting at Rajgopalnagar as Circle Inspector. If I had malice, why would I have given him the posting, George said. I had met him only once when he had come to me seeking revocation of his suspension (in connection with an encounter case), to which I had said that I will not interfere in disciplinary action. That was the last I had met him, he said.
Asserting that there was no evidence against him, George said, I’m unnecessarily being targeted as though I have committed some grave mistake. Where is the evidence for it? If at all he was troubled by officials he should have complained to IG, DGP, Home Minister G Parameshwara or Chief Minister himself.
Earlier, Environment Minister B Ramanath Rai and BJP members were locked in a wordy duel. Losing his cool in the midst of the heated exchanges, Rai tried to barge towards opposition MLAs but was stopped by Congress MLAs and ministers.
During the acrimonious exchanges between Rai and BJP members, senior ministers H K Patil and R V Deshpande intervened to pacify their colleague, while Siddaramaiah asked in a raised voice as to what the marshals were doing. The Congress and BJP members then hit out at each other with both accusing the other of crossing the limit.