The Congress’s general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala stated on Saturday that a BJP candidate had hatched an assassination plot to “wipe out” Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, his wife, and his entire family. The accusation was strongly refuted by the ruling party.
The BJP candidate from the Chittapur constituency in Kalaburagi district, Manikanta Rathod, is allegedly heard saying in Kannada that he will “wipe out Kharge, his wife and children” in an audio recording that the Congress leader played at a press conference, days ahead of next week’s election.
“Intimidated by the all-round blessings of Kannadigas being showered on the Congress party and facing a complete rout in the ensuing Karnataka election, the BJP leaders are now hatching a plot to murder Sri Mallikarjun Kharge as also his family members,” Surjewala alleged.
The assassination plots have entered the electoral discourse of Karnataka, he stated, calling it the “lowest political discourse anyone can stoop to.” Additionally, he asserted that Rathod was a “blue-eyed boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai”.
“I know the prime minister will remain mute, and so will Karnataka police and the Election Commission of India. But people of Karnataka will not remain mute and will give a befitting reply,” he added.
With the words, “We will take the matter seriously,” Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai promised an investigation into the claims. “We will inquire into the whole thing and the law will take its action.”
Rathod refuted the accusation and claimed that the Congress faked the audio in order to disparage him. He stated that he was confident of winning the election and that he had no desire to harm Kharge or his family.
“It is all a lie. They are playing some fake audio. The Congress is levelling baseless allegations fearing defeat,” he said.
On November 13, 2022, the BJP leader was detained for allegedly threatening to kill Chittapur Congress candidate Priyank Kharge. He was later released on bail. He had previously stated that he was prepared to gun down Priyank Kharge during a press conference.
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