VHP Samajotsava on Mar 1

Mangaluru, Feb 7: Issuing a stern warning ahead of the VHP Hindu Samajotsava scheduled to be held on March 1, and in the wake of the clashes that took place after the last Samajotsava in Puttur, district incharge minister Ramanath Rai on Saturday February 7 declared that if any untoward incidents take place during or after the Samajotsava, the organizers and leaders who take part in the event would be held responsible.

Addressing reporters at the Circuit House here, Rai said, “If communal harmony is disrupted through provocative speeches at the Hindu Samajotsava and if innocents suffer, even if it is after the event, the organizers and leaders who chair the programme will be held responsible.”

He further said that police officers would be given strict directions to maintain law and order during and after the event. “A meeting will be held with the officials and appropriate direction will be given to them. Later nobody should say that innocents have been arrested.

“We are taking this step so that innocents and general public do not suffer. Strict action will be taken against fundamentalists,” he added.

“These types of programmes affect communal harmony, and in turn affect the innocents. Dakshina Kannada is already a sensitive area. It is a culturally rich and educated land but due to communal tensions, we have become small in the eyes of the world. In order to preserve harmony in society, police will be asked to take appropriate action,” Rai said.

Vijaynath Vittal Shetty ‘not from Congress’

When reporters asked his opinion about Congress member Vijaynath Vittal Shetty presiding over the Hindu Samajotsava on March 1, he said, “There are lacs of people in the Congress and there are some who are ready to go anywhere if they are provided the president’s position. They only want chair, they are incapable of thinking.”

When reporters once again asked his stand specifically on Vijaynath Shetty, Rai said, “He’s not from Congress.”

He added, “If it (presiding over VHP programme) had been done by any district Congress president or block president, it would have been right to question it, but in this case it is an individual. Hindu Dharma preaches religious tolerance.”

When reporters pointed out that Congress government had failed to take any action against the alleged provocative speakers at the last Samajotsava in Puttur, he replied, “Their time will come.”

On auto fares

When reporters questioned Rai on the deadlock over auto rickshaw fares in the city and the recent strike by auto drivers, he said, “I was out of station on that day (on third day of strike). There was a three-day protest by auto drivers, so when they called me, I asked them to withdraw the protest and gave assurance that there would be a review meeting. I also asked the administration to review the fares. Another RTA meeting will be held to resolved the issue. Even I am a part of the administration and even I have the right to put forth my views. We need to address the concerns of the auto drivers also.”

On allegations from certain quarters that he has been supporting a particular community, he said, “Let them prove the allegation. They can even tap my phone if they want to. Anyone can become a leader by provoking people on communal lines with inflammatory speeches.”

On the ban on Pravin Togadia from entering Bengaluru till February 11, he said the CM has taken a bold decision and even the high court has upheld the ban.

He also informed that KPCC chief Dr Parameshwar will be visiting Mangaluru on February 9.

Source: daijiworld.com