Among those BJP leaders of Karnataka who are known for frequently giving controversial statements mainly against the Muslims, is the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K. S. Eshwarappa. He has held this cabinet position since 20 August 2019.
His controversial statements have often landed him up in political storms, but also made him to tender apology or regret the statements creating an embarrassing situation for himself and the party.
Recently, while interacting with the media persons, he said that sooner or later, the saffron flag will replace the Indian flag and it would be hoisted on the Red Fort.
The incident cause a furore among people and did not go well with the opposition parties, mainly the Congress, and he was criticized severely.
The party even held night long dharna inside Vidhana Soudha against the statement and demanded the removal of Eshwarappa from the Ministry.
Later, BJP national president J. P. Nadda himself criticized the statement of Eshwarappa.
On February20, a Bajrang dal activist, Harsha was murdered in Shimoga. Eshwarappa who immediately travelled to Shivamogga from Bengaluru, declared that the murder was the act of some ‘Muslim Goonda elements’. He not only gave such statements against Muslims, but also participated in the procession of Harsha’s funeral.
Following which, the Shimoga engulfed in riots and arson, leading to the imposition of curfew in the district.
We present here a timeline of KS Eshwarappa’s controversial and communally charged Statements in the past.
Koppal in 2014
It was the time when the Lok Sabha election was announced in 2014. Narendra Modi was declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP who was touring various places in the country for campaign.
During which time, Modi had come to Koppal for a campaign. The BJP had sent Eshwarappa to Koppal to hold a preparatory meeting for the arrival of Modi.
Addressing the Koppal working committee meeting, Eshwarappa had made some critical remarks against Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. He even went on to declare that Singh was not a man. “Nobody in Congress has drunk their mother’s milk”, he said.
The statement created a political storm in the country and snowballed into a major controversy. Finally, Eshwarappa had no choice but to tender an apology.
December 9, 2017: Politicians must get votes by hook or crook
It was the time when the political parties in Karnataka were preparing for 2018 assembly polls.
While chairing the BJP working committee meeting, Eshwarappa gave advice to the party workers on how they should seek votes.
“ The party workers should know clearly what the BJP government has done, what the Central government has done, and what BJP will do for Dalits, backwards, farmers and senior citizens after coming to power. We should speak before the people after learning about these aspects. But just in case you forget some things, then keep in mind one thing. The politicians should never say that they don’t know. Even if it is false, just say it. During Vajapayee regime and PM, many Pakistani soldiers were eliminated. You have not seen it, you don’t know about it, yet you have to say it. So long Vajapayee was in power, Pakistan remained quiet, but when Manmohan Singh became PM, Pakistan started its operation against the Indians again. But when Modi becomes PM, he will teach a fitting lesson to Pakistan. You have to say such things”,.
Eshwarappa came under sharp criticism of the people for his ‘valuable advice’ given to his party workers.
August 9, 2021: Chop off both hands of those who tried to cut one had of Hindus
Last year during the party workers meeting held in Shivamogga, Eshwarappa made another controversial statement. “ In the past, people were being killed who talked of Hindutva. Many pro-Hindu activists were murdered in Kerala. At that time, we have no power to retaliate. But now BJP is growing up fast in the country. Now we have the power to retaliate. Therefore, if anybody attacks our workers, then reply in the same manner without any hesitation. Take two in place of one”, he gave an open call for violence.
The statement of Eshwarappa who was holding a constitutional post in the government, again received strong reaction from activists, opposition leaders and progressive circles in Karnataka.
Even media houses held discussions over the statement. Yet, Eshwarappa did not tender an apology for his irresponsible statement.
August 10, 2021: Congressmen are drunk, children of b***h:
“ Retaliate strongly against those who attack Hindus”. This statement of Eshwarappa attracted a severe attack from the Congress leaders. Former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah called the statement provocative and which calls for open violence.
Eshwarappa who did not care for the statement of Congress, went a step ahead and made a lewd and extremely derogatory remark against the Congress leaders in a press conference. When the statement met strong resistance from various quarters, Eshwarappa tendered an apology.
November 30, 2021: “Siddaramaiah is a drunk man and a cheater”
The Congress leaders had described BJP State President, Nalin Kumar Kateel as terrorist. Such criticism in political circles is common. But as a reaction to the statement of the Congress, Eshwarappa gave a controversial statement against Siddaramaiah.
He called him a drunk man and a cheater. “ Siddaramaiah drinks at any given time, and gives irresponsible statements in a drunken state. Siddaramaiah himself does not understand what he does and what he says in a drunken state”, he said by making personal comments against Siddaramaiah. Even this statement attracted criticism from various quarters.