Politics
Pointing fingers at the ruling Congress government, BJP and JD(S) leaders in the state raised doubts over the security provided to Karnataka’s top anti-corruption officer.

Hours after Justice Vishwanatha Shetty was repeatedly stabbed at his office on Wednesday, opposition leaders criticised the ruling Congress government for a serious lapse in security.

Pointing fingers at the ruling Congress government, BJP and JD(S) leaders in the state raised doubts over the security provided to Karnataka’s top anti-corruption officer.

BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa termed the attack an example of “goondaraj” under the Congress rule.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader, R Ashok hit out at CM Siddaramaiah, stating, “He can give security to Sasikala but not to a judge. This is not a small incident. A judge is also not safe in Karnataka, what about the common man?" He went a step further and demanded that President’s rule be imposed in the state

He also pointed out that the attack followed the brutal assault by Nalapad Haris, son of Congress MLA NA Haris. The BJP has already begun the ‘Protect Bengaluru’ campaign in the city to protest against the ruling Congress government helping foster crime in the city. BJP leaders are carrying out protest marches in various constituencies in Bengaluru.

Taking a dig at the Congress, former Prime Minister and JD (S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda said that the Lokayukta as an institution was already being killed by the state government, and now its chief has been attacked. He also said that by introducing the Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2016, the Siddaramaiah-led government has systematically reduced the once-powerful Lokayukta into a toothless body. While the ACB, which reports to the CM’s office, has been given the power to file cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Lokayukta needs the state government’s permission to conduct raids or trap corrupt officers.

“If a person holding a high office such as Lokayukta has no security, then what will be the state of common man?”, he said.

CM Siddaramaiah, responding to criticism, told reporters, “Hundreds of people visit the Lokayukta. There was a gunman outside the office. The attack happened inside the building.” He did not admit any security breach on part of the administration.