Many activists from various Hindutva outfits in Dakshina Kannada district in the BJP-ruled Karnataka created a stir Wednesday when they surrounded the cars of state BJP president and MP Nalini Kumar Kateel, state minister Sunil Kumar Karkala and RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, when they arrived to pay their last respects to Praveen Nettaru, a BJP Yuva Morcha worker, who was killed on Tuesday at Bellare.
The right-wing activists’ move reflected their anger over Nettaru’s murder and the “delay” by the BJP leaders in visiting the family of the 32-year-old party worker, who came through the local Sangh Parivar ranks. It also indicated their growing disillusionment with the saffron party over a perception that its leadership has allegedly been “self-serving” and working against the interests of Hindutva unlike the cadre.
On Tuesday night, Nettaru, who owned a poultry shop, was hacked to death while he was closing his shop in the region’s Bellare village in Sullia taluk.
Kateel’s car was not only stopped near Nettaru’s funeral site, but was also sought to be toppled by the angry mob. The activists also surrounded the vehicle of Karkala and Kalladka, even as they booed and shouted anti-BJP slogans.
The mob questioned the leaders why the Sangh Parivar cadre was not being protected despite the BJP being in power both in the state and at the Centre. The irate activists also demanded that the government should call off the Thursday celebrations to mark the first anniversary of Basavaraj Bommai as the Chief Minister. The police had to even resort to lathi-charge to disperse them.
Significantly, Kateel represents the Dakshina Kannada region in the Lok Sabha. There has been growing resentment among the Hindutva cadre against Kateel since 2014. He, however, won the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls while riding the “Modi plus Hindutva” wave.
In recent days there have been some allegations of corruption levelled against the BJP government, even as Kateel’s term as the state party chief is coming to an end next month.
This story was originally published in indianexpress.com . Read the full story here