Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday insisted that his party has never blamed the RSS-BJP combine for the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, but maintained that people are being murdered due to the ideological conflict. “Never said RSS-BJP behind this but definitely there’s ideological conflict. Maybe people being murdered due to that,” Kharge was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Congress leader also said party president Sonia Gandhi was very concerned about the recent developments and that she had talked to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about the same.
His comments came a day after the BJP castigated the Congress for “politicising” the murder of Lankesh and asked the state government in Karnataka why it had “failed to provide security” to the journalist believed to have been involved in bringing Maoists into the mainstream.
“Even before the ‘i’ of investigation could start, the great leader Rahul Gandhi, who always speaks without homework, alleged publicly that the RSS and right-wing ideology was involved. He has given the verdict of ‘guilty’. In the light of this malafide comment, should we expect a fair investigation from the Congress government in Karnataka?” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said while addressing a press conference.
Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress had questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the killing of the journalist and accused Law Minister Prasad of giving “political and communal colours” to the murder. “Barely 72 hours after the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the law minister has embarrassed the entire country with his controversial remarks linking the investigative journalist to Naxals,” Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
“It is the country’s misfortune that the BJP and the law minister are seeing a murder through political and communal colours,” he added.
Surjewala had also said that the minister was “trying to mislead the country” by stating that rationalist M M Kalburgi’s murder has not been resolved in Karnataka. “He forgot to say the BJP government in Maharashtra has not done anything to solve the killing of Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar,” the Congress leader said.
With PTI inputs