Congress, JD(S) trade barbs, lodge complaints amid poster controversy

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BENGALURU: In a tit-for-tat move, S Manohar, general secretary of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), lodged a complaint against JD(S) leaders H D Kumaraswamy and Ramesh Gowda with Bengaluru’s police commissioner on Thursday, alleging threats and derogatory remarks.

Manohar’s complaint also alleged that JD(S) leaders used derogatory language against Congress leaders on social media. “Ramesh Gowda threatened Congress leaders yesterday while talking to media friends at Bengaluru Police Commissioner’s office premises. Today, we have lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Police against derogatory words used against Congress party leaders on JD(S)’ social media”, he said.

This comes a day after the Bengaluru unit of JD(S), led by president Ramesh Gowda, filed a complaint against S Manohar and four others, accusing them of putting up a derogatory poster against former Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy. The complaint states that derogatory posters were placed on roads leading to the JD(S) head office JP Bhavan in Seshadripuram, on November 20, projecting Kumaraswamy in a negative light.

Following the complaint, Congress leaders approached the Commissioner of Police and lodged a complaint against the JD(S) party leaders for allegedly giving threats on social media and using derogatory words against the Congress party leaders.

Earlier, Bengaluru Police on Tuesday night removed the posters stating ‘Electricity Thief’ that were put up outside the JD(S) Head Office in Bengaluru. The posters appeared after an FIR was registered against HD Kumaraswamy on charges of electricity theft since he had connected the Diwali lights of his residence from an electricity pole.

The FIR was registered based on the complaint filed by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) officials at BESCOM Vigilance Jayanagar Police Station.

The Congress had alleged that HD Kumaraswamy had illegally connected the Diwali lights of his JP Nagar residence from an electric pole. The Congress had posted about this along with a video and photo. After the video went viral on social media, BESCOM officials visited the former Chief Minister’s residence and conducted an inspection.

In his defence, Kumaraswamy claimed that a private decorator was asked to decorate his house with electric lights for Diwali, and they had connected it from a nearby pole and tested it. He also claimed that he was away from his residence when the incident took place.

“A private decorator was asked to decorate my house with electric lights for Diwali. After decorating the house with electric lights, they connected electricity from a nearby pole and tested it,” Kumaraswamy said in a post on ‘X’.

“This matter came to my attention when I came back home last night. I immediately removed it and connected the electricity from the meter board of the house. This is the reality. There is nothing hidden in this,” he said.

The former Chief Minister said that he was sorry for the incident and was willing to pay the fine. “I am sorry for this indiscretion. Let the BESCOM officials come and inspect and issue a notice. I will pay the fine,” he added.

Accusing the Karnataka Congress of highlighting this issue just to get publicity, he said, “This is what @INCKarnataka is doing to get publicity. I am concerned about the petty mentality of that party. I have not embezzled any state property.”

The Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress have been at odds with one another ever since the former joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Kumaraswamy had recently claimed that the Congress’ “guarantees” have failed in Karnataka, to which the Congress responded by saying the former Chief Minister has started wearing “RSS knickers.” (ANI)

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